I agree with only using the snails and not using crabs. They pick at too many things including the snails. In new tanks it's common to go through the algae stages, brown - green and then the calcerous types start growing. Limit the nutrients you're putting into the tank (i.e. fish food) do weekly water changes and keep the tank heavily skimmed and lightly stocked and you should get through it.
Also check your phosphate levels. If your tap water has phosphates you may need to invest in a reverse osmosis filter for water top-offs. I've been using a PUR filter (attached to the sink) for my water top-offs with no probs for the last few years.
I am never going to get crabs in the tank. I heard that when they get older they will be more aggressive and start killing fish and other inverts. The tank's cycle has finished. Its over 3 weeks old. I think its our water quality. I only feed my anemone twice a week.
I was looking at turbo snails and I may get them soon.
Hey hey, just my 2 cents but after only 3 weeks I think you're probably still going through a cycle stage - mine was still going afetr 6 weeks so it might go away after a few more weeks - just do as Mike said - limit the food etc and you should be ok! Best of luck!
I found out the cause of the bad algae. It was the live rock I bought from another seller. It had algae on it and I paid no attention to it. It spreaded from that. I am limiting the squid though. twice a week.
Well you gotta look at it from the point that at the moment they can only do good - they cant do any harm! I got a sand sifting starfish and some nassarius snails and they made a world of difference. My hermits are picky and only eat off the rock but then the starfish and snails will only eat from the sand so I got both sides covered!
What fish are you planning on getting?
Well I put a bid on a false percula which goes off in 4 hours. I want maybe 3 yellow tale or blue damsels "they are 3 for $12 at my LFS". 4 Skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 Serpent star and a feathduster later on. Then sometime I will get 1 more false percula for the tank. Thats about it.
Cool I like feather dusters and serpent stars! When you get your clowns I would be wary - you'll have to get a very small one that hasn't developed a sex yet because they need to pair and if they dont you could have a battered fishy on your hards. I would recommend buying them as a pair of babies when it comes to clown fish.
I dont know how well 3 damsels would do either - I would definitely not recommend them after my experience with their aggression! If you do want them only add them after you have ALL your other fish because then at least the others will have time ot sort out their territories before the damsels come in and take over! Unruly little hooligans >