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Snails? To or Not

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Question

Doing a LPS and softies ONLY tank

Do I really need snails for cleanup and crabs to clean up the snails

 

Thanks John

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I personally prefer a snail only crew. A good mix of nassarius snails, cerith, nerites, a turbo or two etc...

 

It just always seems the crabs are trying to kill the snails to get their shells and I feel the snails are just food to the crabs. But yeah you definitely want a clean up crew to help break down stuff in the sand and under the rocks that crabs can't get to. Otherwise stuff in the sand will just settle and turn to nitrates. You could consider a fighting conch or a sand sifter starfish to assist with clean up also depending on your bioload...

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I'm the opposite and dont really like snails much. Hermits have always cleaned my tank better IMO. Ive had hermits live for many years while snails just dont last as long even when there are no hermits in the tank. I also have a decent size sand sifting cucumber that I've had for about 5 years.

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I only have hermits no snails. Hermits last longer. I always get rid of the big hermits prefer the small ones.

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I do snails only myself. I've had hermits kill snails and pick at corals as well. People say they'll only pick at dying corals but in my experience they've eaten zoanthids, acans, and different types of brains. None of which showed any health issues and all healed after removing the crabs. As for snail longevity, I have 3 of the 5 trochus and 10 or so nassarius that I bought 3 years ago. And 2 fighting conch's that are 2 years old.

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I have all snails and a conch in the 100 and a mix if snails and hermits in the 40. Both tasks are reasonably clean. The hermits are all pretty big, the snails aren't so I haven't seen aggression there yet since the shells clearly wouldn't handle the hermit.

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Generally I tell people one or the other as together your just going to end up with crabs eventually. I'm not to keen on either one to be honest. Hermit crabs are pretty evil little creatures and kill each other along with killing snails. Snails on the other hand are tough to find good one's that live for a while. I have had one turbo for 5+yrs but you don't see that often, he has been through 4 different tank's now. I do like having a sally foot crab and emeralds in my tank though. As far as algae removal goes my fish do 99.5% of that.

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I like keeping both just because of the fact that we like seeing them honestly. I just look at the cleanup crew as something that needs refreshed from time to time.

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The issue I have with hermits besides killing similar sized snails is I always have one that gets larger than the rest, then it goes all lord of the flies on everyone else. I had to banish one because it kept pulling smaller one's out of their shells, then killing them, then carrying their bodies to the top of the rock and shaking them around. Like it was doing some sacrificial offering. I have seen this happen often, its pretty disturbing.

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Whatever you chose don't put 200 in a twenty gallon. Have too many leads to starvation, to me that is when hermits go bad. They got to eat! A new tank with little algae doesn't need a massive cleanup crew. I was guilty of this and BRS just did a sweet video on clean up crew size.

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I started out snails only (a good mixture). I then added a few dwarf blue leg hermits. Those little suckers took out a cerith or two for their shells but since haven't been an issue.

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I have a mix of scarlet hermits and snails. Scarlets are more docile and i have never lost a snail to them. When i had blue legs it was quite the opposite. Scarlets seem to be more picky at what shells they live in where blue legs will use almost any shell to live in. For snails i use trochus, astra, cerith, stomatella, nerites, nassarius. I like nerites but on my rimless tank they like to crawl out and view the tank from the outside. I love chestnut smails but hard to find. Have had in the past and they can upright themselves. Workaholics! I've also had large nassarius the ones that have a white and orange striped shell and they work but a giant compared to the smaller nassarius. I know this is an older post but thought i'd share my experiences.

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