Marine Invertebrate Species Profiles

There are many types of marine or saltwater invertebrates that you can keep in your saltwater aquarium. From sea stars to crabs and shrimps, the possibility of finding an invert that you like is quite good. Most are kept for a specific purpose such as cleaning fish of parasites or helping rid that reef tank of algae. Not all are totally harmless so you need to research the ones you're interested in keeping.

Saltwater Invertebrates

Ophiolepis superba
Tiger Striped Brittle Star
The Brittle Stars are generally pretty good tank mates in saltwater aquariums, including reef tanks. They should just scavenge the sand and rock while leaving the fish, corals and other invertebrates alone.
Protoreastor nodosus
Chocolate Chip Starfish
This starfish will eat other invertebrates in the tank, including soft corals such as xenia. Would only do well in fish only type tanks with no invertebrates.
Stenopus hispidus
Coral Banded Shrimp
Best to keep only one per tank as they may fight other coral banded shrimps. They may also go after other shrimp species, although we've kept them in tanks with other saltwater shrimp species and have had no problems.
Clibanarius spp.
Hermit Crab
Red legs, Blue legs and several other species of saltwater hermit crabs can make rather good scavengers but watch them closely around snails and other invertebrates.
Mithrax sculptus
Emerald Crab
Rumored to eat bubble algae and they don't get all that big. It should be ok, but use caution when stocking in a reef tank.
Eucidaris tribuloides
Pencil Urchin
Will graze on algae but is not considered reef tank safe.
Nassarius sp.
Nassarius Snail
Good scavengers that will burrow under the sand and come out when they detect the smell of food entering the water.
Lysmata wurdemanni
Peppermint Shrimp
Does a great job at eating aiptasia and you can keep multiples and even breed them in a dedicated saltwater shrimp breeding setup.
Lysmata debelius
Red Fire Shrimp
An amazing looking shrimp and one of the most popular. The fire shrimp don't seem to be as active in the cleaning fish department as the skunk cleaner shrimp but they do in fact clean fish.
Lysmata amboinensis
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
This is one of the best of the shrimp cleaners. Check out the profile page for pictures of this species in action cleaning a Yellow Tang. They are pretty hardy too and can be kept in groups or pairs.
Turbo fluctuosa
Turbo Snail
A great snail for cleaning algae from the rock work and tank glass. One per 20 gallons are so should be fine.
Tridacna crocea
Crocea Clam
This saltwater clam comes in a variety of colors and needs high output lighting provided by either metal halides or T5's.
Tridacna maxima
Maxima Clam
They get most of their energy needs from the zooxanthellae living within the mantle and need high intensity lighting over the tank. Metal halide and T5's are recommended to keep these clams.

Author : Mike FishLore

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