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which janitors should I use

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ryan0292002ca

Member
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
18
Location
North Bay, ON, Canada
I've been looking around trying to find out what would be the best cleanup crew to have and how many, for my 30 gallon reef, but there's so many different options. I've heard from some people that hermit crabs are bad and other say they're good, and same goes for the different types of snails. Most of you's have alot more experience than I do, any suggestions. I was thinking scarlet hermit crabs, and astrea snail, but I'm unsure of how many, or if this is a good choice. It's harder to choose than I thought it would be, LOL
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
ryan - do you have a DSB or sand substrate? If so, I'd toss in Nassarius to the mix. I personally prefer a variety of snails. Cerith, nerite, astrea, trochus, tiger trochus, and nassarius (provided a substrate). Adding a few scarlet hermits would be a personal choice. If you have a difficult time deciding about the hermits, you could always make an attempt without them, and see how things go. Or, you could give them a test run for a little bit and donate them to someone as they misbehave.
 

Elmo18

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
I prefer Astrea snails for diatom on glass/acrylic. For detritus, scavenging, and dead foodstuffs that the fish do not get i prefer Nassarius snails. I also like Stomatella snails and Limpet varieties.

I have small white limpets that are reproducing in the tank. Stomatella snails are great grazers and move way faster than astreas or any other snail.

I would stay away from Margarita snails as they are cooler, more temperate water species from Baja, Cali and south.

As for hermits, I'd stick to miniature black/white hawaiian hermits or the red scarlet hermits. The blue ones get large and knock stuff over. While they seem to have bad reputation for eating snails, I think they do that more often when the snail is already flipped over and cannot move again. I mean, if you were a hermit and you see a snail flipped over and can't get up right, wouldn't you eat it :lol:

- Elmo ;)
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I like nassarius snails for sand bed cleanup, and Astreas for the wall. I have a queen conch and she's awesome. Very slow but efficient cleaner. I have one single scarlet hermit and it's not caused me any trouble.... Yet.... =) It's a crab though, and you never know.
 

ryan0292002ca

Member
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
18
Location
North Bay, ON, Canada
thanks for the help, I think I'm going to go with nassarius and astraea snails and try out a few scarlet hermit crabs, if they dont work out I will give them away. Something I've always wondered about the crabs is, do they ever try to crawl out of the tank, cause I remember when I had freshwater crabs way back, those guys needed a closed top cause they try to crawl out. I also want to get a cleaner shrimp or two later down the road, will the scarlet hermit crabs attack the shrimp?
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
The 2 should be fine. I've had both together before and not had a problem. It's the larger blue legs you have to worry about. They get kinda feisty.
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
I agree the large electric blue legs are bad. For me the smaller mexican and blue leg hermits have worked fine for 2 years. I use a mix of snails (turban, nassirus, cerith, astrea, limpets,(free from live rock) I also use small 3/4" hermits and brittle stars and serpent stars (except the large green serpent) he was the snail reaper. The little hermits are cool they will get in a line and march across the tank bottom. I have never had them try to escape, like my brackish water fiddlers. I found if you put in extra shells (LFS should have them in the tank with hermits) they dont kill snails (as much) I agree with Elmo though they will eat whats easy to eat.
 

ilovejeff

New member
Joined
Jul 4, 2004
Messages
3
Location
West Seattle
We haven't had any problems with our crabs climbing out, but they have fallen into the skimmer cup a couple of times. We have to check it every couple of days and rescue anyone who is stranded.
 
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