Clean Up Crew Question

DivingBellSpider

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Hello All,
I’ve seen a lot of suggestions about when to add the CUC. Many people seem to say you should add them even before you get your first fish. If that’s the case, and you add your CUC who add a small bioload, then you add your fish a couple of weeks afterwards, wouldn’t that set the bio filter back a bit? Since they give off way less ammonia, wouldn’t that reduce the number of bacteria in the aquarium? Would you add them with the first fish? What are people’s experiences?
 

TucanSam

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I imagine that as long as you don't add an insane number of large fish that the bioload shouldn't be completely overwhelmed. Are you adding them to a newly cycled tank, or transferring over cycled media? A healthy BB colony can probably handle the higher load easier, but ime it's hard to add so many fish that you completely overwhelm it. If in doubt you could always does with a bottle of SafeStart to try and boost the BB colony?
 

DivingBellSpider

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This would be a newly cycled 90 gallon aquarium. My plan would be to initially add 2 small fish. Would it be OK to add a small cleanup crew at that time? My biggest concern was just if I added such a small bio load as a cleanup crew, with that then reduce the biological filter if I added fish a couple of weeks later?
 

DivingBellSpider

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But going along with that, is two small fish an appropriate number? Or can I add an additional one, or maybe just add a single fish?
 

PascalKrypt

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That kind of depends on the size of the eventual stock you are planning on compared to your "crew" (which consists of what btw? edit: whoops I also didn't see saltwater. below still applies though).

When bringing a large tank to full stocking it is never wise to toss in the whole stock in one go, even when you've made efforts to cycle your aquarium with a lot of ammonia. First because newer cycle are just more fragile and I wouldn't risk something going wrong and losing all those fish, whereas a slow build-up doesn't have that risk, and unless your stock originates entirely from one source tank, it would be better to QT the different fish separately before adding them to the tank anyway.
 
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TucanSam

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This would be a newly cycled 90 gallon aquarium. My plan would be to initially add 2 small fish. Would it be OK to add a small cleanup crew at that time? My biggest concern was just if I added such a small bio load as a cleanup crew, with that then reduce the biological filter if I added fish a couple of weeks later?
It is my understanding the the BB colony will only grow according to how much food there is. So yes, assuming the bioload is very low you won't have a massive colony as they won't have enough food. Starting out slow with a few fish isn't a bad idea, and then just add a few more at a time as you go.

As pascal says above, its best to take it slow and add new fish a few at a time unless you are transferring over a very strong BB colony. I've done the "add an entire tank stock at once" before, but it was with media that had been running in a large tank for a while beforehand. It had a large enough colony of BB to support that size stock all at once.

If this is a brand new cycle, you'll need to build the BB colony up slowly a few fish at a time.
 

mattgirl

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If you did a fishless cycle in this tank how much ammonia was it processing daily? The more ammonia it processes in a 24 hour period the more bacteria there will be in the tank Thus the more fish you can add at one time.


oops: I just realized that we are talking about a saltwater tank. I don't know if the same rules apply to a saltwater tank as they do to a freshwater tank so take what I said with a grain of salt and ignore this if they are different.
 

DivingBellSpider

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No, I definitely wouldn’t be adding the full load at once, or even in a really short period of time. And as far as the livestock are concerned, I wanted to start with a small dwarf fuzzy lionfish, and probably a small long nose hawkfish. I have a few others in mind, but nothing set in stone, otherwise. But ultimately I would be adding them slowly, over a period of A few months or so. The cleanup crew would essentially be a few snails, a few hermits, maybe an emerald crab To start with. Should that be OK with the initial two fish?
 

DivingBellSpider

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No, I definitely wouldn’t be adding the full load at once, or even in a really short period of time. And as far as the livestock are concerned, I wanted to start with a small dwarf fuzzy lionfish, and probably a small long nose hawkfish. I have a few others in mind, but nothing set in stone, otherwise. But ultimately I would be adding them slowly, over a period of A few months or so. The cleanup crew would essentially be a few snails, a few hermits, maybe an emerald crab To start with. Should that be OK with the initial two fish?
Also, I would be doing a fishless cycle, with the bio filter being able to handle 4ppm in a 24 hour period, hopefully
 
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Jesterrace

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The thing to understand about the cycle with a saltwater tank is that usually at the end of it you will get a diatom bloom (aka brown algae bloom) and this is what the clean up crew feeds on initially until you get fish in your tank. That is why it is recommended to do them first as they help clean up the uglies in your tank.
 
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