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Chris27

How much ammonia does a clownfish produce?

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Tired

How high is high nitrate? 

 

Hermits are pretty hardy, yep. Just get a couple, they're more for fun than for cleaning. They'll eat basically anything you give them, no problem. It's fun to train them to eat from tweezers or a pipette, they're super enthusiastic. 

 

I would venture to say you don't have to wait a month to add a couple snails. Also, consider a variety of snails, not just trochus. Nerites, ceriths, and dwarf ceriths are also good., and all of them (unlike trochus) can right themselves if they fall. Nerites aren't quite as good at it, though. 

 

You definitely won't need weekly water changes with just a couple hermits, no. You might not need weekly changes with just a couple fish. Water changes are, as a general rule, to remove nitrates and/or phosphates, and to replace minerals that corals and macros use up. If neither of those things needs to be done, you probably don't need to do a water change. If you never did any, you'd eventually run into some potential problems with dissolved organics and various substances that living things give off, or a need to replace various trace elements, but that's generally pretty far out. 

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Chris27
42 minutes ago, Tired said:

How high is high nitrate? 

 

Hermits are pretty hardy, yep. Just get a couple, they're more for fun than for cleaning. They'll eat basically anything you give them, no problem. It's fun to train them to eat from tweezers or a pipette, they're super enthusiastic. 

 

I would venture to say you don't have to wait a month to add a couple snails. Also, consider a variety of snails, not just trochus. Nerites, ceriths, and dwarf ceriths are also good., and all of them (unlike trochus) can right themselves if they fall. Nerites aren't quite as good at it, though. 

 

You definitely won't need weekly water changes with just a couple hermits, no. You might not need weekly changes with just a couple fish. Water changes are, as a general rule, to remove nitrates and/or phosphates, and to replace minerals that corals and macros use up. If neither of those things needs to be done, you probably don't need to do a water change. If you never did any, you'd eventually run into some potential problems with dissolved organics and various substances that living things give off, or a need to replace various trace elements, but that's generally pretty far out. 

When I mean high nitrates I mean about 25ppm+ hopefully ill get accurate readings soon after I do a 100% water change this week and remove all ammonia/nitrate

 

I know you have to get 3-4 minimum so they form a pecking order and the more the better. I  have some small-large snail shells laying around that I can place in the tank to reduce aggression. I love hermit crabs, I could just stock them and probably be satisfied

 

So, maybe a monthly or bi-monthly 10% water change would suffice. I want to get used to maintenance so when I begin stocking the 4 fish I want, ill be semi prepared for the weekly water changes.

(Those fish being 2 clownfish, greenstriped goby, 6 line wrasse)

 

Should I buy a phosphate test kit? from what i've heard phosphate really doesn't affect soft corals, fish, and hardy inverts. Only algae growth.

(I only plan on getting soft corals, and maybe euphyllia and birdsnest way down the road)

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Tired

That is well within a healthy amount of nitrates, not just for bacteria, but for corals. I'm not sure you could get your nitrates high enough to harm bacteria. 

 

Phosphate is actually vital for corals. It's not toxic to anything at any level you could manage to get, but corals kept at 0 phosphates will die, and quickly. If you want corals, you need to keep nitrates and phosphates reasonable (at least 5ppm and at least 0.03ppm, respectively, more is fine and quite possibly good), so you should probably get test kits to keep an eye on both.

 

Make sure to add your wrasse last, they can be aggressive and having them last helps reduce that. I'd add the goby first, then the clowns (both at the same time), then the wrasse, preferably. 

 

For the hermits, how set are you on bluelegged ones? I have scarlet reef hermits, which are the most peaceful kind you can get. I have two, and I don't think I've ever seen them interact, period. They definitely don't fight at any point that I can see. You can't mix them with other hermits or they'll get bullied, though. 

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Chris27
1 hour ago, Tired said:

That is well within a healthy amount of nitrates, not just for bacteria, but for corals. I'm not sure you could get your nitrates high enough to harm bacteria. 

 

Phosphate is actually vital for corals. It's not toxic to anything at any level you could manage to get, but corals kept at 0 phosphates will die, and quickly. If you want corals, you need to keep nitrates and phosphates reasonable (at least 5ppm and at least 0.03ppm, respectively, more is fine and quite possibly good), so you should probably get test kits to keep an eye on both.

 

Make sure to add your wrasse last, they can be aggressive and having them last helps reduce that. I'd add the goby first, then the clowns (both at the same time), then the wrasse, preferably. 

 

For the hermits, how set are you on bluelegged ones? I have scarlet reef hermits, which are the most peaceful kind you can get. I have two, and I don't think I've ever seen them interact, period. They definitely don't fight at any point that I can see. You can't mix them with other hermits or they'll get bullied, though. 

Good to hear about the nitrates, I didn't think it was the cause but just wanted to be sure.

 

I have read all about the six line wrasses potential aggression issues. I want one as a showpiece. Frankly the six line wrasse is one of the two fish that got me into the hobby. (The other being a flame angel) I've also read about the six line wrasses potential to deal with certain pests, nudibranchs, red bugs, flatworms, etc. I left the tank rockwork very open and spacious to hopefully deal with territory issues. I only have about 1/2 pound of rock and sand per gallon so I can't stock too heavily. (I would include a picture of the tank but my phone is broken at the moment)

 

I'm not set on blue legged hermits, I love all of the dwarf varieties. If my lfs has red legged dwarf hermits in stock id be happy to take them (They are slightly more expensive, correct?)

What's your opinion on the yellow tipped and zebra varieties? And if I go with the red variety how many do I get to start? and how many until there might be aggression?

I hear hermit crabs need access to shells for when they get bigger, would snail shells suffice? I have a few bigger than 1 1/2" and as small as 1/4".

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Tired

Not red legged hermits, scarlet. They get a tiny bit larger than blue or red legs, but not much. Yes, they need shells as they grow. You'll need an assortment of sizes, ranging from around the size of the shell the crab is currently wearing, to their maximum size. The shells should be on the bottom of the tank, preferably with the openings exposed so the crabs can easily try them out. Snail shells are what all hermit crabs wear, yes, but different hermit crab species have specific shapes of shell that they want to move into. If you look up pictures of them online, you can see which kind of shell each one prefers, by looking at what all the ones in the pictures are wearing. Scarlet hermits like a certain shape of heavy, thick shell, so you should try to get shells like those. 

 

I haven't kept yellow tipped and zebra hermits, but scarlet hermits are pretty wimpy, and will be bullied by other types of hermits. The reason I say you should get scarlet hermits is because they're least likely to kill snails for food or shells, and also least likely to go after and bother any other inhabitants. You'll see many fewer stories about someone's scarlet hermits being a problem, compared to blue legs, red legs, and zebras. ReefCleaners carries them. They're a bit more expensive than others sometimes, but not by much, they're still just hermit crabs. 

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Chris27
12 minutes ago, Tired said:

Not red legged hermits, scarlet. They get a tiny bit larger than blue or red legs, but not much. Yes, they need shells as they grow. You'll need an assortment of sizes, ranging from around the size of the shell the crab is currently wearing, to their maximum size. The shells should be on the bottom of the tank, preferably with the openings exposed so the crabs can easily try them out. Snail shells are what all hermit crabs wear, yes, but different hermit crab species have specific shapes of shell that they want to move into. If you look up pictures of them online, you can see which kind of shell each one prefers, by looking at what all the ones in the pictures are wearing. Scarlet hermits like a certain shape of heavy, thick shell, so you should try to get shells like those. 

 

I haven't kept yellow tipped and zebra hermits, but scarlet hermits are pretty wimpy, and will be bullied by other types of hermits. The reason I say you should get scarlet hermits is because they're least likely to kill snails for food or shells, and also least likely to go after and bother any other inhabitants. You'll see many fewer stories about someone's scarlet hermits being a problem, compared to blue legs, red legs, and zebras. ReefCleaners carries them. They're a bit more expensive than others sometimes, but not by much, they're still just hermit crabs. 

I know my lfs has scarlet hermits, if they don't have them in stock ill probably just go with the blue or yellow legged. I have a decent variety of shells including normal snail shells, freshwater snail shells, quite a few big ones. I don't have any of the cone shaped ones, if they have them at pisces I will a get a couple. I am concerned some of the larger ones may be polished or varnished, so ill start with the smaller ones.

 

How many crabs should I get to start? I know they are reef safe and peaceful in moderation, so i'm thinking 5-6 maximum

Is it trochus or astrea snails that cannot right themselves? I was always told it was astrea, that's why they're cheaper 

I was thinking nassarius snails, they are good for uneaten food and oxygenated sandbed. Once I have uneaten food to worry about

What's the main difference between nerite and trochus? I know cerith is bigger and an omnivore

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Tired

I'd say maybe 3 hermits? If they're all little, 5 could work. 

 

Both snails can't right themselves, IIRC. It's the shell shape that's the problem. 

 

Don't bother with nassarius. Just don't leave food around uneaten. Ceriths will move your sandbed for you (slightly), and you should keep your sandbed very shallow and mostly cosmetic anyway. Ceriths do double duty as sand movers and generalized cleaners, wherenas nassarius do the sand moving and take care of only extra food. They're good in tanks that get a lot of broadcast food, like ones with loads of fish. But if you only have a few fish, it's easy enough to just put in only as much food as they need. Plus, I'm pretty sure ceriths will go after leftover food, and hermits definitely will. 

(Also, nassarius will go after dying fish. Admittedly they tend to go after only things that are on their way out anyway, but if a fish is dying, it's better to remove and euthanize it with clove oil than to let snails kill it.)

 

Nerite snails are a bit better at righting themselves, active at night, and will climb out of the tank if you don't have a lid or rim. I think they'll eat slightly more types of algae than trochus? A couple of both would be good.

 

Ceriths, depending on species, are either about an inch long or about two inches at full size. They're long and thin, though, so don't bulldoze. Dwarf ceriths are tiny, under an inch at full size, and great for getting into crevices. 

 

My personal approach to snails is to have a few of everything that's applicable, heavy on the dwarf ceriths because they multitask and get into crevices. I also have a few each dwarf planaxis and periwinkles, which are mostly decorative and only slightly cleanup. 

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Chris27
2 minutes ago, Tired said:

I'd say maybe 3 hermits? If they're all little, 5 could work. 

 

Both snails can't right themselves, IIRC. It's the shell shape that's the problem. 

 

Don't bother with nassarius. Just don't leave food around uneaten. Ceriths will move your sandbed for you (slightly), and you should keep your sandbed very shallow and mostly cosmetic anyway. Ceriths do double duty as sand movers and generalized cleaners, wherenas nassarius do the sand moving and take care of only extra food. They're good in tanks that get a lot of broadcast food, like ones with loads of fish. But if you only have a few fish, it's easy enough to just put in only as much food as they need. Plus, I'm pretty sure ceriths will go after leftover food, and hermits definitely will. 

(Also, nassarius will go after dying fish. Admittedly they tend to go after only things that are on their way out anyway, but if a fish is dying, it's better to remove and euthanize it with clove oil than to let snails kill it.)

 

Nerite snails are a bit better at righting themselves, active at night, and will climb out of the tank if you don't have a lid or rim. I think they'll eat slightly more types of algae than trochus? A couple of both would be good.

 

Ceriths, depending on species, are either about an inch long or about two inches at full size. They're long and thin, though, so don't bulldoze. Dwarf ceriths are tiny, under an inch at full size, and great for getting into crevices. 

 

My personal approach to snails is to have a few of everything that's applicable, heavy on the dwarf ceriths because they multitask and get into crevices. I also have a few each dwarf planaxis and periwinkles, which are mostly decorative and only slightly cleanup. 

Ok ill start with 3 and maybe get another 2 down the road

 

What i'm getting from this is that you strongly recommend cerith snails, sadly, they are not on my lfs's invert list at the moment. This may change in the next few weeks so I guess we will see. They only have trochus, astrea, and nassarius. If nerites or ceriths are there when I do get snails ill go for them.

 

Thanks for all the replies, it's very helpful. I might have some more questions later, ill probably post them here.

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Tired

ReefCleaners has ceriths, and everything else, at really nice prices. Probably better than your LFS, even including shipping. If I were you, I'd get the start of my cleanup crew from the LFS, maybe just some trochus. Then, once the tank has lots of algae in it and has had some time to establish, order some ceriths and dwarf ceriths from ReefCleaners. Maybe an easy macro like one of the halimedas, while you're at it. Halimeda can pretty much just be set in the tank and left to grow, and has a very low chance of going sexual or otherwise causing problems. It looks nice, too. 

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Chris27
12 minutes ago, Tired said:

ReefCleaners has ceriths, and everything else, at really nice prices. Probably better than your LFS, even including shipping. If I were you, I'd get the start of my cleanup crew from the LFS, maybe just some trochus. Then, once the tank has lots of algae in it and has had some time to establish, order some ceriths and dwarf ceriths from ReefCleaners. Maybe an easy macro like one of the halimedas, while you're at it. Halimeda can pretty much just be set in the tank and left to grow, and has a very low chance of going sexual or otherwise causing problems. It looks nice, too. 

I live in canada, which is a huge disadvantage in reefing. they don't ship to me and the only online lfs's are pretty absurd in shipping price my lfs is charging 50$ a clownfish. I have a growlight installed in the back chamber for nutrient export cheato or other macros when I have a real bioload.  

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aclman88

Trochus snails can right themselves. I have one and I’ve seen it do it. I always heard turban snails can’t but I have those and they do fine. 

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mcarroll
21 hours ago, Chris27 said:

trochus, astrea

Both are good choices, but they are on the large size for snails, so just take that into account when you stock.  It's probably a good idea to just add one at a time and see how he settles in for a few weeks.

 

IME the only snails that have issues holding on or issues righting themselves are snails that are underfed or starving.  If you find your snails doing this, do something to thin out your population a little bit.

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Chris27
On 9/27/2020 at 9:18 PM, mcarroll said:

Both are good choices, but they are on the large size for snails, so just take that into account when you stock.  It's probably a good idea to just add one at a time and see how he settles in for a few weeks.

 

IME the only snails that have issues holding on or issues righting themselves are snails that are underfed or starving.  If you find your snails doing this, do something to thin out your population a little bit.

Finally, after over a month of cancelled plans and uncertainty. I have livestock. I bought 3 scarlet hermits from my fs and drip acclimated them for 2 hours. (sorry for the blurry photos)

crab 1.jpg

crab 2.jpg

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Tired

Nice. Scarlet reef hermits are pretty chill as hermits go. Make sure you have plenty of empty shells for them- they like thick, heavy shells like what they're wearing now.

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Chris27

Update: All 3 crabs are active and appear healthy, I am feeding crushed up pellets and nori. I have seen atleast one of them eat but im uncertain if they are getting enough food. I currently dont have any suitable shells in the tank for them to move into, my lfs was out of stock so I ordered some online that are yet to arrive.

 

The current plan is to get a few snails within the next 2 weeks or so, and a frag of gsp before the holidays to test my water. Should I also introduce live pods into the tank?

Last question, how many inverts should I be getting before a baby clownfish?

 

Heres a picture of my tank I forgot to include in the last post

tank.jpg

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