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View Full Version : Algae Management, Sand Cleaning, CUC


CaptainYooh
04-11-2011, 09:14 PM
Good day, everyone. Our 10g nano-reef tank has now been cycled with 12 lbs of live rock for 6 months and has a few corals added recently (torch, fragspawn, hammer, zoas, mushrooms, gsp, xenia), 2 clownfish and CUC (added one month ago). Photos are forthcoming.

Three quick and right to the point question to the experienced reef-keepers:

1) Who can best play freshwater pleco's green algae eating role in a nano-reef 10 g tank? I am a little worried about a thin green algae film on our tank's water surface as it's not going away. I know, it does speak positively to the health of the tank but it can also go wild if not managed properly and timely.

2) What would you recommend as the most appropriate sand-sifting/sand-cleaning fish for our tank? LFS guy told us that sand-sifting Goby would sift through our 2" white sand bed fairly quickly and then starve. Do you agree? If yes, then what should we consider? Another type of Goby, say Yellow Watchman? Or something totally different?

3) Our CUC consists of 3 medium-size turbo-snails, 3 blue-legged hermit crabs and a peppermint shrimp. We did have 3 nerites but they were all killed quickly by the hermits. Which areas of our tank health are not being addressed at present do you think? Which CUC creatures are we missing in your opinion? What would you recommend we should add?

Thank you kindly.

Myka
04-11-2011, 09:28 PM
1. In marine aquaria green algae doesn't speak positively to the health of the aquarium. Green algae grows in all sorts of nasty conditions (take a look at a wet ditch for example, you will see green algae). Best film algae eaters I have found are Ring Cowries or Astraea snails.

2. There are sand-stirring gobies and sand-sifting gobies. Most sand-sifting gobies will not accept prepared foods, so they need larger tanks to support their dietary needs. Most of these gobies are very messy, but there are a couple that are more restrained. Sand-stirring gobies will often accept prepared foods, but they don't actually clean the sand. They often make quite a mess too. In a small tank, I really suggest the best sand cleaner is you. Use a gravel vacuum when doing waterchanges. You could try adding a few Nassarius snails, although I don't find them to really do much. Nassarius would definitely fall prey to the hermits. Small conchs are great sand cleaners, but your tank is too small...their requirements are similar to those of sand-sifting gobies.

3. The Turbo snails will get way too big for your 10 gallon tank, I would suggest Astraea snails instead. Hermits are opportunistic and will attack and eat snails if they get hungry or bored or lazy, they will probably get the Turbos eventually. The Peppermint shrimp is the best shrimp choice for a small tank like yours, although I do worry that your tank might still be too small it to get enough food. I prefer to see them in 20 gallon tanks. I would suggest you replace the Turbos with Astraea, and remove the hermits. The hermits will compete with the shrimp for food.

CaptainYooh
04-11-2011, 09:48 PM
Thanks for the detail response, Myka (although, it was a bit depressing, eh... :cry:).

So, what role do Hermits play? If we remove them to prevent future risks to the useful snails (turbo or Astraea), who should take over their role?

Myka
04-11-2011, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the detail response, Myka (although, it was a bit depressing, eh... :cry:).

So, what role do Hermits play? If we remove them to prevent future risks to the useful snails (turbo or Astraea), who should take over their role?

Ya, sorry about that! That's the learning curve for ya. There are always a bunch of opinions too, and there are lots of people who like hermits. I don't like them, and for that reason I don't even think they have a role! :p Anyway, the shrimp and the snails will take over the hermits role. Hermits eat filamentous algae and food waste.