Week 23: Reef tank clean-up crews: 40 or 400? | 52 Weeks of Reefing #BRS160

December 3rd, 2015
It's Week 23 of 52 Weeks of Reefing, and we're adding invertebrates with a purpose to the reef! The bulk of these little guys are going to form our tank's clean-up crew which will help to reduce uneaten waste and contribute to the prevention of algae growth. So follow along as we share some info on the purpose of a clean-up crew, different approaches to them, details on some popular choices, and a few other tips that you may not have heard before.

Reefers simply like adding diversity to their tank with crabs, stars, shrimp, and snails, however these two contradictory desires are really at odds with each other in ways most reefers don’t fully understand.

I think it is really important to highlight the break in the road here between attempting to maintaining a healthy population snails, crabs, and other cleaners in the reef tank that have a side benefit of keeping algae and other pests in check and attempting to use them as for the sole purpose of algae control. Honestly, the clean up crew methodology is commonly seriously misunderstood and more often than not results in the exact opposite results the reefer intended in both of these cases.

We are going to look at this from two vantage points starting with how to introduce, build, and maintain a clean up crew in a brand new tank, as well as from the vantage point of using them to help contain and reduce an existing outbreak.

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