Reef Janitors-What to add/How many/When to Add?

han012
  • #1
I'm in the process of setting up a 55 FOWLR & I was wondering how many snails/hermit crabs I need to add. I know I need to add them after the tank cycles but do I add them before or after the fish go in? if it's before, how do I feed them? my LFS has this package but I think it's overkill (& expensive!):

50 Gallon Reef Janitor Package:

20 Margarita Snails
10 Turbo Snails
20 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
2 Sally Lightfoot Crabs
2 Serpent / Brittle Stars
2 Mithrax Crabs
 
atmmachine816
  • #2
I would add them before fish, they are hardier than fish in the first place and can be added sooner to combat algae.

I wouldn't get that package. Margarita snails like cooler temps 70-76tops so unless your tnak stays cool I wouldn't get any. I would get:
20 astrea snails
20 cerith snails
5 turbo snails
(not sure how many) mithrax crabs
10 blue leg hermit crabs
2 scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp
2 peppermint shrimp

From my knowledge that's what I would get, maybe add more snails if you feel you need more. Somebody else should be around soon to confirm that or change it. I wouldn't get anything yet until they do.
 
Gozer_1
  • #3
I would add them before fish, they are hardier than fish in the first place and can be added sooner to combat algae.

I wouldn't get that package. Margarita snails like cooler temps 70-76tops so unless your tnak stays cool I wouldn't get any. I would get:
20 astrea snails
20 cerith snails
5 turbo snails
(not sure how many) mithrax crabs
10 blue leg hermit crabs
2 scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp
2 peppermint shrimp

From my knowledge that's what I would get, maybe add more snails if you feel you need more. Somebody else should be around soon to confirm that or change it. I wouldn't get anything yet until they do.

I would suggest 20-40 nassarius snails. They are good for stirring the substrate. Also, astrea snails can sometimes have a bit of trouble flipping back over if they fall on their backs. They may need a little help. I'm thinking about some trochus snails. They are similar to astrea I think, except with a little better flipping over ability. Hope to have some ordered this week. I'll post what I think of them sometime lol.
My plan for my 55 FOWLR is:
50 Nassarius snails
15-20 Trochus Snails
5-10 Astrea Snails
30 Cerith Snails

I can't keep crabs or shrimp because my fish would eat them.

If anyone knows anything about Trochus Snails, please let me know what you think.
 
atmmachine816
  • #4
nassarius, ya that's what I was missing. Aren't trochus a bit larger type of snail, but not quite as large as turbos? I've heard of them but haven't seen any by me. And ya, that's a good point, my astrea snails have fallen a couple times and I've had to flip them back over, can be a pain in the butt some times.
 
Gozer_1
  • #5
From what I have found online (which isn't really much) Trochus are a little smaller than the Mexican Turbos at, around 1" dia compared to 2" Turbos. I don't know how big Turbos really get, so I can't verify this "max size". Apparently they are very similar to Astrea snails, but their shell is pointier so they can flip themselves over much easier. This ability comes at a price of a dollar extra per snail though. The Astreas are about $2 and the Trochus are $3. I also just found some "Tongan Super Nassarius" snails on Drs. Foster & Smith. They get to be 1" instead of 1/2". I think I'm going to go with some of those. Same deal there $2 normal $3 Super, although I got my nassarius snails on Ebay for $0.75 each. Funny how your plans can change with even 10 mins of reading about this hobby. lol

My future list is now:
15 Trochus
30 Cerith
10 Super Nassarius
20 Nassarius
Maybe a couple Turbos
And the Astreas I have now.

I'm going to order mine in portions so I don't end up with too many. I'm probably going to order 5 or so trochus snails and some Ceriths today. I'll see what that many can do and add as needed. I think that's the best way. Those "Clean-up crew" packages always seem to be a lot of animals and every package I've looked at has 1 or 2 that I just don't want in my tank, like conchs, Brittle stars, and Arrow Crabs. Conch's get HUGE. I have heard that Brittle Stars can eat themselves out of food fairly fast, and I hear Arrow Crabs will eat featherdusters. I like my featherdusters. lol
 
atmmachine816
  • #6
Ok sounds about right. I've heard brittle stars aren't too bad but it isn't that good of an idea to add them because they are starfish and like you said. Ya I think arrow crabs can be mean to other things too, and they get fairly large too. The snails your getting are the one's I'm waiting on still. Turbos get 2-3" I think.
 
Gozer_1
  • #7
I just found the "Build Your Own" janitor deal on Drs. Foster and Smith. Some snails are on sale. I purchased 30 Ceriths 10 Nassarius and 2 Turbos. $60 with free shipping. You have to order at least $60 to get free shipping. $1 each Nassarius, $1.50 each Cerith, $2.50 each Turbo. Pretty good deal especially with free shipping. If you haven't purchased any janitors or need more $60 for free shipping is a great deal.

They don't offer Trochus snails in the Build your own, so I decided to go with these guys. I figure after I have them for a month or 2 I will have a pretty good idea of how many to get.
 
atmmachine816
  • #8
lol too bad I only need 4 more snails tops for my tank, don't think I could get free shipping on that. Good find though
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
61
Views
5K
Jesterrace
Replies
8
Views
538
Pozzy
Replies
134
Views
4K
Jesterrace
Replies
9
Views
3K
Reef_Wrecked
Top Bottom