View Full Version : Clean up crew for a 55g

09-24-2014, 07:03 PM
Hi guys! I'm a bit new to large tanks, I have just set up a 55 gallon tank and was wondering what sort of clean up crew i should have or more so how much of what.
i have about 5 Astrea snails and 2 electric blue hermits already scurrying around. Along with 1 tiger bristle star and 2 sand shifter star fish who seem to like the glass more then the sand :neutral:
I am wondering what else should i add to make this tank? I've been reading that most people are not a fan of hermits and other crabs so should i stay away from getting more of those?
Oh also where the best price for these guys would be too would help a lot!
Thank you for all your advice and help!

10-04-2014, 03:13 PM
I have found this guide worked great for muself, found all of thses locally in Calgary & were cheap to buy.

Trochus (1 per 5 gallons) - this is your underwater goat! It eats algae like crazy, especially the longer kind. It really is a lawn mower. I like it, as mentioned above, because it is smaller than the turbo, doesn't knock things.

cerith snails (1 per 5 gallons) - these are algae eaters but what makes them special is that they 1. readily breed in the tank and 2. will actually dig a little into the sand to eat algae that isn't at the surface. This allows them to get the algae off the glass that is just under the sand where you can't scrape it.

nassarius snails (1 per 10-20 gallons with caution) - these guys are meat eaters. They are great at cleaning up leftover food and if a fish dies you will see these guys all over it. Their most unique property is that they live under the sand and only come out to feed. I call them zombie snails because when you put food in the tank they rise up out of the sand like so many zombies! This action is not only fun to watch, but it helps keep the sand turned over and cleaner. Caution: Nassarius are members of the welk family which is the clue to us that they should be considered with caution. If you get too many of these snails you may end up having to feed them intentionally which negates the purpose of getting them in the first place
nerite snails (1 per 3-5 gallons) - these are algae eaters. I like them because they are very small. I keep them in my refugium. They are able to get into areas that other snails can't get. They can also be acclimated to freshwater though they can only breed in salt.

hermit crabs (1 per 5 gallons) - These don't need much explanation, they eat all sorts of stuff in the tank. They eat algae, detritus, leftover food, dead fish or snails etc. Caution: as hermit crabs get larger they need to change shells. If they cannot find a shell of the proper size they will kill a snail or another hermit crab to get one. Also, not all hermit crabs are safe to put in a reef tank, only the small ones. Even these, as they get larger, may pick on corals. I've kept hermit crabs for years with no problems at all but some other aquarists have reported problems. Use caution.

peppermint shrimp (1 per 10 gallons) - These are actually part of the cleaner shrimp group, even though they don't have the typical white antennae. As such they will clean fish or dead scales and parasites. They also eat the pest anemone Aiptasia. On top of that they are great at cleaning out rocks. Their long legs (with claws on the ends) can get into places a hermit crab just can't and because they have no shell they can move easily into cracks and behind rocks. Caution: shrimp are known to take food from corals. Some shrimp are known to pick on corals. Some fish stores will sell camel shrimp either on purpose or by mistake and call them peppermint shrimp. Camel shrimp are not reef safe and should never be put in a reef tank.