Our recommendations for a clean up crew.
In our experience the clean up crew should consist of :-
Trochus snails - about six for a 90 litre tank, but more for a bigger tank. Will eat algae on glass and rocks.
Cerith snails - same quantity. Will eat algae on glass and rocks and keep sand aerated.
Nassarius snails - same quantity. Will eat left over food on the sand and keep sand aerated.
Conch - two for a 90 litre tank. Will eat algae and aerate sand bed.
Algae blenny (Salarias fasciatus) - one. Will eat algae anywhere.
These should be introduced as and when there is food to support them. So, for instance, if your tank has matured to the point of adding livestock, add the nassarius. Add the other snails when algae starts to appear.
If you add them sooner, be prepared to feed them on marine algae tablets or dried seaweed sheets.
A very useful chart to get the correct weight of salt per litre if you make your own seawater up.
A bit of a lesson learned on this.
We originally set this tank up with eco sand which is made of crushed seashells and is supposed to replicate coral sand. We have had a few problems over the few months it has been running, like water going cloudy occasionally and conch and nassarius snails not wanting to walk on it.
So, we took it out of the tank, thoroughly washed it and put it back in. Still the conchs and nassarius reacted like it was hurting them, so I looked closely and saw that the broken pieces of shell, although very small, had sharp edges which must have been hurting the snails foot (think of broken eggshells or sharp grit to keep slugs and snails off your delicate plants).
Today we took out the offending eco sand and replaced with coral sand. The eco sand will now be used to protect seedlings in the greenhouse !
Once the water clears a bit more (no matter how much you rinse the sand it always clouds the water !), the conchs and nassarius will hopefully like their new environment and do the cleaning job they enjoy !
What's safe? What's not?by Kevin Frenzel & Renee Hix
Not all seahorse keepers are satisfied with a species only tank. For those who choose to keep a more diverse aquarium environment, it's important to put the seahorses' needs first and select tankmates with caution. With careful planning and consideration, seahorse tanks are no longer confined to being species only, but can house a wide variety of life. Seahorse tanks are becoming more and more beautiful by the day, with many keepers diving into setups containing seahorses, and peaceful fish, as well as many species of corals and macro algae.
The rating system is generally based on the following criteria: temperament/territoriality, swimming patterns, food competition, venoms or toxins, and in some cases, the species' inability to survive in home aquaria. One must bear in mind that there may be some exceptions to a rating based on the temperament of certain specimens, however, the ratings are based on the USUAL specimen's behavior.
Most recent revision: October, 2007
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