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FAQs about Marine Scavenger Selection: Fishes

Related FAQs: Marine Scavengers 1, Marine Scavengers 2, Marine Scavengers 3, Sand Sifters, Sea CucumbersShrimp Gobies, Sifter Gobies Marine Algae EatersHermit Crabs, & FAQs on Scavenger: Rationale, CompatibilitySpecimen Selection, Clean Up "Crews"Worms As  Scavengers, Snail Scavengers, Shrimp Scavengers, Hermit Scavengers, Crab Scavengers, Cucumber Scavengers, Sea Urchin Scavengers, Serpent Star Scavengers, Seastar Scavengers, Losses/Troubleshooting,

Related Articles: Scavengers/Clean-up Crews for Marine Aquariums, by Bob Fenner, Some Fishes Are Good For More Than Just Looking At, by James Fatherree, Genus Valenciennea GobiesHermit Crabs,  


Lunar Wrasse Question/Concern... Mmm, no: sand sifter, Anthias, yellow fish...  sel., using WWM period     2/16/08 Hello Crew.... <Lisa> ?? Thanks again for supplying us fish fanatics with tons of helpful information! I have a 125gal FOWLR that's been up and running for 2 1/2 yrs now. I have live rock, DSB, 20gal refugium under the main system with a DSB and live rock, and a skimmer as well. The main tank is built into a wall diving my office and our club room. Recently lost my royal Gramma (was bought as an adult so have no clue how old he/she was when purchased) but the rest of the fish are thriving. They consist of a coral beauty (who actually lost an eye on some rock we think the first week I bought him/her....think it was too much excitement going from the Q-Tank to the main tank!? lol), a pair of clowns (false perc and a blk & white), and a lunar wrasse who is about 6 inches now. I bought the clowns and wrasse (at different times) from Petco of all places...... and all the fish were reasonably priced and are growing like weeds over the last 2 years! Anyway........ I have a 4-6" DSB with a very light sprinkling of crushed coral on top (and I mean light) and wanted to add some sifters/cleaners but know the wrasse will eat any crabs or shrimp (found that out the hard way). Would a sand sifter starfish ne safe..... or what about a goby maybe? <Mmm, in this sized tank... am thinking either a Valenciennea species or even a small goatfish/Mullid> I just would like the top layer cleaned up a bit, nothing to really dig deep and stir up all the good stuff. Do you have any suggestions. Also, I'd like to add another fish, maybe 2 and was hoping to ass some yellow color to the tank. Can you suggest anything suitable with my gang? <There are many choices... perhaps just a flavescens tang> Would a pair of Anthias get too big for my tank or be bullied too much? <... you should read re this subfamily of basses... most are shoaling species, perhaps too touchy for your setting, experience> I also like the Banggai cardinals but wondered if they would be bullied too much and if not....is it best to get a pair (male/female) or two females and a male? <... reading?> Look forward to hearing from you again! Lisa <All covered on WWM Lisa... please, learn to/use the indices and search tool. Bob Fenner> Sorry Bob....guess I didn't search long enough...was just hoping to get some opinions from more experienced hobbyist. I'll head back to more searching. Lisa <Please do... and feel free to write back re specific questions, concerns not covered on the site. BobF>

Amblygobius (actually other) species that eats algae Hi all, <Hello there> I contacted previously about Amblygobius rainfordi, and realize that this is not the fish for me. Thanks for the advice and info. I would still like a goby, and I like the look of the Amblygobius gobies. I for article at WWM it was indicated that some species eat algae. I have a well established 135G tank of 3 years, with a refugium . One of the reasons I am interested is I have heard that they will eat hair and other filamented algae's. I have normal algae growth, but my tangs just won't touch the stuff. Thanks Bryan <Mmm, a few pertinent points to (try to) make. One is that there are some algae species that most all fishes refuse to ingest... perhaps they're unpalatable for chemical, physical reasons... And approaches to these algae control lies elsewhere... Second, there are better blennies for cropping filamentous algae than gobies in general... Look to the genera Salarias, Atrosalarias if your system is large enough. Please use the Google search tool on WWM here for much more. Bob Fenner>

Marine cleanup crew Hi folks. <Neil> Thanks again for the truly helpful website and all the information.  It's been a great source for me. <Glad to read> My question is this:  I've got a 75 gallon marine Fish-only aquarium, running for several months.  Right now, I've got a Clarkii Clown, 3 blue-green Chromis, and a sixline wrasse.  All are doing fine.  I plan on adding at least a couple more fish, like a flame angel and a yellow tang. <Good choices> I've got a decent skimmer, and plenty of filtration.  I've got a half-inch to an inch of crushed coral substrate. <Okay> I'm sure this is a redundant question, but I've searched the FAQs on cleanup crews, and I've come away confused at the options.  Anyway, what would be some good suggestions to use for a cleanup crew to start adding to take care of some of the detritus, algae, etc? <Mmm, no live rock? I would make my/yourself the clean-up crew... regularly stirring the substrate, vacuuming half per period... bleaching, cleaning decor if you'd like> I don't really have much of an algae problem, just some brown diatoms.  I don't think I need to worry about any of my fish eating the cleanup crew, but are they any inverts. that I should avoid that may eat my smaller fish? thank you, <The new dwarf angel and tang will help... If/when you utilize live rock, you can look into algae eating blennies et al. Bob Fenner>

What are some ideal sand-stirrers for my 55 gallon tank? Hello again, I have a 55 gallon tank with about 30 Lbs. of Fiji Live rock, 15 Lbs. of Hawaiian Base Rock, and 50 Lbs. of ESV oolite sand. I have recently changed the sand in the tank to make a live sand bed in the tank. Currently the average height of the sand bed is around 2-2.5in deep. Current stock in the tank are 2 Percula clowns, 1 royal Gramma, 1 blood shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 10 scarlet reef hermits, 3 Trochus snails, 1 turbo snail, 1 Astrea snail, 1 colony of green mushrooms, and 1 colt coral. Current perimeters are ammonia&nitrite 0, nitrate 10, Ph 8.3, Alk 3.5, and Calcium 450 I want to know what would be a good sand stirrers for the tank invert or fish. I hear sand stirring fish can eat valuable sand critters in the tank. Is this true? My sand is very fine, slightly finer than sugar size sand. >> Your tank is a bit too small for many of the purposeful stirrers like Valenciennea gobies... and the grade a bit fine for some others... Still others might harass your non-fish livestock... If it were up to me I'd leave the job to the inverts you have and yourself... for you to occasionally (on water change days) move some of the surface about... Bob Fenner

Suitable Herbivores for Reef Tank I want to add an active herbivore to the tank that will prune the plants (grape and lettuce Caulerpa) without disturbing the other members of the tank community. A tang seems like a logical choice but have some contradictory information on whether or not they are compatible with coral and other invertebrates. I have a 125 gallon reef tank with 100 pounds of live rock and crushed coral substrate that covers about half the bottom of the tank. Wet/Dry filter, protein skimmer and UV sterilizer. The current population includes: Clean up crew, 4 cleaner shrimp, 4 clown fish, purple fire fish, coral beauty, fairy wrasse, a mix of hard and soft corals, 3 anemones, 2 starfish and a horseshoe crab. Can you recommend suitable tank mates? Also, would like to know if I can add an additional dwarf angel to the tank (Flame Angel)? Your articles are extremely informative, and I enjoy reading your responses. Thanks: Dave  >> Thank you for writing and being part of this forum. I would indeed trust a tang of either the Sailfin genus Zebrasoma (like the Yellow and Purple) or the Combtooth genus Ctenochaetus (like the Kole/Yellow-eye, or Chevron) for the job... the only real downside of these fishes is they might eat too much of your "spare" Caulerpa. And I would definitely get a nice Flame as a show piece for your system. For your size system it should learn to get along with the Coral Beauty within a few weeks maximum... Be chatting. Bob Fenner

Clean up Crew I'm putting together my clean up crew for my 46 gal. tank w/ 65 lbs. of live rock with lots of Algae. Would you recommend a combo of Turbo and Trochus or Turbos and Astrea snails? How many of each for my size tank? Thanks, Rob O. >> Well... you've asked a pointed, defined question... So... I'll gladly respond in kind. I don't encourage the stated stocking density of Trochus genus Snails, and I do favor the use (if being utilized) of Turbo and Astrea genera gastropods over the use of Trochus... (though in Europe... there are some collected/collectable trochid family members that are desirable...). Bob Fenner Thanks Bob for answering the question of what kinds of snails. How many would you recommend for my size tank?  <Oops, sorry for missing this part previously... IF I was using snails, five or ten of  Astreas and Turbos... Some Blue Legged Hermits... again five or ten... depends on the types, amounts of live rock used, lighting... other algae eaters... am a bigger fan by far of using fishes... like Ctenochaetus Tangs, Blennies...> I also really want to get some starfish. I was thinking (1)Blue Linckia,(1)orange marble and (1)brittle starfish. Should I purchase these when I get my clean up crew or should I wait until my tank is more established? How many would you recommend for my size tank? Right know the tank is 6 wks. old with lots of Algae mostly brown). <I'd only consider the middle species... and you can place it now... or wait Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Rob O. Niger Trigger I have one about 3 Inches long doing fine in a 75 Gal. tank. I am frustrated that it seems that I cannot have any inverts in the tank to act as a clean-up crew. Are there any that a trigger would not try to eat? Thanks Dave. >> Not really... in the way of invertebrates... there are many fast, smart fishes that might do for various "jobs"...  Bob Fenner

Goby vs. Cucumber vs. Starfish? Hi Bob, Thanks for your time. I have been having green algae problems growing on the sand with my 60G fish tank with LR lately. I already have a phosphate sponge and keep phosphate to <0.03. I have been reading on the subject people are recommending me get the Golden Head Goby, a sea cucumber or sand sifting starfish. Do you have any suggestions and how many of them do I need? Also would I have to keep the Goby in pairs? Thanks. Brian >> <Hmm, well, all of these might do you some good... but for my moolah, time, I'd get a member of the Salarias, Atrosalarias blennies, just one, and watch that algae disappear. Bob Fenner>

Scavengers with a Porcupine Puffer? Hi Bob, I enjoy your site thoroughly and I am writing because I have a question regarding clean-up in my tank. I have a 125 gallon fish only that presently has an 18 inch moray eel I bought him under the label "assorted" moray; he looks like the "whitespot" moray in Scott Michael's Marine Fishes guide) and a 6 inch porcupine puffer. With the big mess the porcupine makes with feeding, I was wondering if there are any scavengers or other means of taking care of the mess that you could recommend. Thanks a lot in advance. <Thanks for writing. Do have a favorite given your two "show fishes"... a family of choices for that matter. The Mullids or Goatfishes: http://wetwebmedia.com/Goatfshart.htm and in checking through the associated FAQs file you'll find other folks comments who have employed them. Very active, prodigious cleaner uppers, smart, fast enough to hopefully avoid the puffer and eel... Bob Fenner> -Patrick-

Foxface marine fish are they used to clean in invert systems <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm Bob Fenner>

Lunare Wrasse Rescue, comp. scavengers    9/5/06 I recently went to purchase some miscellaneous aquarium supplies from someone breaking down their saltwater setup.  He had three fish (a maroon clown, a yellowtail damsel, and a lunare wrasse) sitting in putrid, stagnant, water in the bottom of a bucket.  All three were very very near death, so I went ahead and got them to attempt a rescue.  The yellowtail didn't make the 30-minute trip home (very sad).  After some time and effort, the other two are recovering well -- though the clown is still a bit lethargic and the wrasse seems to twitch now and then.   I put a BTA with the clown, and I think that's helping his recovery.   I'm planning on integrating the clown in my main (150g) reef tank, but don't think the inhabitants will appreciate the wrasse. <Much more likely the BTA...>   The local fish store doesn't want the wrasse, and so I decided to keep him since I invested so much effort to keep him alive.  I'm setting up a separate 55g tank (it's the biggest tank I have available right now) just for the wrasse.  I've been told, and have read that they like to eat things like snails and crabs.  So, to my question (sorry for being so verbose)...Do you know of any species of tank cleaners (snails, crabs, etc.) that can reside in the wrasse tank without getting munched.  If not, what sort of critter would you recommend putting in this tank to remove detritus and any uneaten food? <Mmm, I'd look to fishes instead of invertebrates here...> By the way, the wrasse is about nine inches long.  Thanks for any tips. Chris. <Perhaps sand sifting Valenciennea... Salarias/Atrosalarias blenny... a small siganid... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marscavart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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