Quarantine Inverts

Fishenthusiast123

Member
I have a quarantine tank that's getting a bit dirty. My quarantine tank is fairly large, so normally its used more as a regular tank than a quarantine tank - I get new fish, quarantine them for a month, and then basically just leave them in there until I get new things, in which I move the fish that were in there to the 75 gallon or the 60 gallon aquarium I own to make room for the new arrivals. I have a few 4-5 inch black occellaris in the 60 gallon that can be a bit territorial, and I have a sebae in the 75 gallon who has reached the point where he is thinking about biting me when I stick a finger in the tank when trying to handfeed my tang some seaweed. I plan on getting a lyretail hawk for the 75 gallon and a longnose hawk for the 60 gallon, and ,although I don't use medicines harmful for inverts, I want a clean up crew that is easy to remove from the tank temporarily, has a lower risk of being eaten by these two hawkfish, and won't eat my slower bottom dwelling fish. Any ideas? I would prefer if it can eat foods I add in the tank - the tank is very tall, and it is difficult to remove uneaten foods on the bottom.
 

Addictedtobettas

Member
Why not larger snails? I have some white wizard/trapdoor snails that are very easy to remove and quite efficient in the tank.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
Interesting. I've never heard of those - here we normally have the turbos. I was worried that the turbo would strip all the algae, which I like to have for my dragon sleeper goby and flametail blenny (current inhabitants along with an engineer goby and a pajama cardinal). The turbos have never eaten the food I've offered besides algae wafers though. Will these white wizard/trapdoor snails eat pellets and flakes? My pajama refuses to eat flakes but the mouth of the blenny is too small to eat pellets, the dragon sleeper refuses to eat anything I offer him, and the engineer goby doesn't normally come out where the pellets drop.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
Oh wait you're thinking of freshwater snails rip. The quarantine is saltwater so unless those are actually brackish and I can acclimate them that's not going to work. Sorry I have freshwater but we have snail eaters so I don't know my freshwater snails besides mysteries, assassins, pond, and racer lol
 

Addictedtobettas

Member
Oh I’m so sorry. I missed the saltwater label. That would make so much more sense now. Eek.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
lol its okay
 

Addictedtobettas

Member
What about cucumbers or starfish? I’m plotting my someday saltwater tanks and would love to know what does/doesn’t work better.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
Chocolate chip's will suck up sleeping fish that are under the substrate, linckia are extremely sensitive, and brittle and serpent stars can eat small fish and they are virtually impossible to move from a tank unless your move the rock they're in with them in it to the new tank.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
I've never seen my local fish store's ever selling a sea cucumber, and apparently they require the care of an expert, which is not me lol
 

saltwater60

Member
I’m pretty sure you have a good bit wrong there. Chocolate chip stars don’t eat fish. Corals maybe but not fish.
Brittle stats won’t eat fish either. I’ve had both for plenty of time. If the fish dies he’s they will snack on the dead fish. Also there are minI brittle stars that stay small.
Also never heard of an anemone trying to bite anyone. If you get food near their tentacle they will close up thinking they are getting a meal but bite you I’ve never heard of that.
What are you trying to clean up out of the QT tanks?
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
I am trying to clean up detritus and uneaten food. Think I'll go with the cerith snail for the detritus. I don't know know what to use for the food that will be durable and won't attempt to eat other fish and the snails.
I've never had a brittlestar eat fish either but people here have talked about brittle stars eating smaller fish, and the nature of the brittlestars reported have been similar to the ones I've had. These actions include creating a cage with their arms outstretched above their core when a fish comes by and climbing to the top of the tank and falling with their arms outstretched. For the anemone I was worried about fish like mandarin gobies being stung and such. I had heard similar fish have been eaten by anemones before, and sites I've browsed have stated it would be better not to house these fish with anemones. Although I am far off from getting a mandarin goby that's one of my goals for a peaceful tank in the future. I've heard that chocolate chip stars have sucked up sleeping fish like wrasses, and I have had a local fish store confirm that they have had chocolate chips stars do that. I looked up the red knob aka red general, learned it had that ability, found out it was related to the chocolate chip, and asked.
I've never heard of these small brittle stars. Can you go into detail?
 

saltwater60

Member
I had a mandarin with multiple bubble tipped anemones and never had an issue at all. I had large red brittle star fish and a chocolate chip starfish with many smaller fish like clown fish, clown gobies, fire fish, wrasses, and others. Many people will say certain things eat dish or whatever because their fish died and the invert eats the dead fish. Many people think the same about bristle worms too.
You’ll have to look around for the minI brittle stars. I used to raise them and sell them in a pack for a clean up crew. Simple amphipods and copepods will eat detritus.

Here’s the info On the chocolate chip star. They don’t eat fish.
Chocolate Chip Sea Star, Protoreaster sp

Same with brittle stars.
Brittle Sea Star, Fancy Red:
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
Interesting. So would you go with a brittlestar, then? I kind of want to try some crabs - do any come to mind that would be good? From looking online it seems emerald crabs when they get older can gain the urge to kill snails. I had a sally lightfoot I always accused of injuring my serpent star who died do to an infection that reached his core. I've never liked the look of chocolate chips so when I heard of this I got scared lol. "Ugly" (in my view) and dangerous too!

I had the fancy red before - my "Reef safe" bluechin trigger ate them. Now I can only find the grayish green ones in my local stores. =/
 

saltwater60

Member
I like pistol shrimp. They are a good size and hardy. They won’t eat algae but won’t harm anyone. They should eat some food scraps and detritus. The brittle stars will for sure eat both. I’ve had emerald crabs and had no issues with them. You do need to make sure they are fed or they can snack on corals periodically.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
Have you seen any longnose hawkfish or lyretail hawkfish eating a pistol shrimp? For my 60 gallon my must get fish is the longnose. I was planning on getting a lyretail for the 75 gallon as the final addition but I don't have to get it.
 

saltwater60

Member
No but IMO it could go either way pistol shrimps are rather large and stay in small holes. If you get a shrimp goby that would increase your odds of success. The shrimp feels the goby with its tentacle and when the goby retreats so does the shrimp. These shrimp have poor eye sight. I think hawks eat smaller shrimp species.
I think you’ll be fine. Here’s some first hand accounts of success but every fish is a bit different.
Longnose Hawkfish Compatibility
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
I believe so. Some hawks, like the flame hawk, are supposed to basically eat all invertebrates. Some sites give information that hawks will smash larger invertebrates against rocks. I've never seen this and my lyretail in the past never killed anything, which included adding an emerald crab after him. What are the larger, hardier pistol shrimp individuals? I've been wanting to get a tiger pistol but I've been waiting for my local pet store to get a pair in - they put shrimp and watchman gobies in a submerged breeding tank and pair them up.
 

saltwater60

Member
I had a bullseye pistol shrimp and paired it with a yasha hasha shrimp goby and they did it immediately all in their own. Loved them both. It was about 3-4” if I remember. I never saw a pair locally. Might try asking if they can order you a pair specifically but make sure you ask for male female if that’s your goal otherwise they may just order you two shrimp. Or search online for a pair.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
"Might try asking if they can order you a pair specifically but make sure you ask for male female "
I'm kinda confused on what you mean by that - do the shrimp and the goby have to be different genders? The store makes you pay more for the pair up so I might just end up ordering it online and doing it myself. Normally I buy fish from marinefishez but prices are kinda high on some, most invertebrates don't have a living guarantee, and the last fish I got, some yellow tailed damsels, didn't look so good. I'm guessing you normally buy from live aquaria? Y'all use that site a lot for references lol.
 

saltwater60

Member
Sorry I thought you were talking about a pair of shrimp so male female shrimp pair. Not the fish and shrimp pair. Gender won’t matter for the shrimp to fish pair.
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
Sorry I should have stated shrimp and goby pair.
 

saltwater60

Member
No worries. It’s the internet happens all the time!!
 
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Fishenthusiast123

Member
lol true.
 

SecretiveFish

Member
For my general snail clean up crew, my favorites are banded trochus (they can usually right themselves!), ceriths, nerites,and nassarius. For hermit crabs, I tend to stick to scarlet leg hermits because I haven't had them go after snails and they sift through the sand clearing out detritis. I only add emerald crabs if I am dealing with bubble algae and can't keep it under control; however, a hawkfish can easily eat small ones.

A tuxedo urchin might work for you too, but they are more algae eaters so may not be what you are after.

Serpent and brittle stars are good for cleaning up uneaten food, but I haven't had any that help with detritis. Also, I recommend avoiding the green brittle star. They are known as the 'Green Death' for a reason... I have never had a serpent starfish go after a not-dying fish and would recommend those over a brittle star.

None of the things I have suggested should bother any your fish.

ETA: I suggest avoiding left handed hermit crabs because they are aggressive eaters!!! They get big enough to fit in a turbo shell, and they killed all my snails when they got bigger, despite being fed plenty. I haven't had problems with blue leg hermit crabs though.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fishenthusiast123

Member
SecretiveFish said:
For my general snail clean up crew, my favorites are banded trochus (they can usually right themselves!), ceriths, nerites,and nassarius. For hermit crabs, I tend to stick to scarlet leg hermits because I haven't had them go after snails and they sift through the sand clearing out detritis. I only add emerald crabs if I am dealing with bubble algae and can't keep it under control; however, a hawkfish can easily eat small ones.

A tuxedo urchin might work for you too, but they are more algae eaters so may not be what you are after.

Serpent and brittle stars are good for cleaning up uneaten food, but I haven't had any that help with detritis. Also, I recommend avoiding the green brittle star. They are known as the 'Green Death' for a reason... I have never had a serpent starfish go after a not-dying fish and would recommend those over a brittle star.

None of the things I have suggested should bother any your fish.

ETA: I suggest avoiding left handed hermit crabs because they are aggressive eaters!!! They get big enough to fit in a turbo shell, and they killed all my snails when they got bigger, despite being fed plenty. I haven't had problems with blue leg hermit crabs though.
Yea my green serpent star is the one who would make the cage of arms. He never succeeded in eating anybody though. The scarlet legged's are neat, but I haven't seen any in the longest time. So left handed crabs are evil? Interesting
 

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