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Crys

How many inverts in a 13 gallon

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Crys

I have discovered that I am a big invert fan.  I watch them more than my fish.  I would like to add more but I want to be careful of my bio-load.

Current inhabitants

  • Fish
    • yellow watchman
    • clown
    • springer
  • Inverts
    • emerald crab
    • 4 blue legged hermits (2 are super tiny)
    • cleaner shrimp
    • 12 various snails
    • 3 sexy shrimp. very very small
  • Wish list
    • blue porcelain crab
    • peppermint shrimp
    • 2 more sexy shrimp

Thanks for any suggestions

 

I attached a picture of my tank and my little sexy shrimp.  (not great shots took them with a black berry. Yes I still have one)

tank pic.jpg

sexy shrimp.jpg

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Tired

Your tank is gorgeous! What is that in the bottom center-ish of the first pic, to the right of the green coral frag on the sandbed? 

 

Inverts have very low bio-load, because their metabolisms are slower than fish. You would be fine as far as bio-load in adding those, but I would worry that the shrimp might become territorial and fight. Also, many shrimp sold as peppermint shrimp aren't fully reef-safe, even the "true" peppermints that people buy to eat aiptasia. 

 

You should also watch your fish as they mature. Three fish in a 13gal is a lot when none of them are pico fish.

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Crys

Hi, I wasn't quite sure which coral, so I attached another picture.  I think the big coral in the middle is a toad stool coral, as well as the small one under it.  The light green one is a neon green candy cane coral. It died on me once and came back to life.

 

The two toad stool corals came as hitch hikers on the base of a coral I purchased.  They were barely bigger than the size of a pin head.  The only reason I knew something were there is they glowed under the blue lights.  I've had them about 1 year. I think they are the only good hitch hiker I have ever received. 

 

Are there any other friendly inverts you would suggest?

 

Thank you for the kind words about my tank. About 8 months ago you gave me some great advice on getting ride of the hair algae.  I think patience was the main one. As you can see the tank is almost GHA free, and it was all done with manual removal. So double thanks!

corals.jpg

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Tired

Oh, it does look like a baby toadstool up close, I see now. I thought it might be an interesting hydroid cluster. 

 

They aren't in stock right now, but ReefCleaners occasionally sells micro decorator crabs. I have one, and highly recommend them. They shouldn't bother anything in your tank, though may experimentally snip at a polyp or two to see if they can wear it.

A candycane pistol shrimp could also be an option, but you'd have to be willing to put up with it making a bit of a mess. It would also be good to add a big handful of shell rubble or similar for the pistol to build in, scattered around the rocks. Bits of shell smashed into pieces 1/2" to 1" are great building materials for pistol shrimp. They're great fun to watch build, and remarkably intelligent in how they construct things. You won't have territorial issues with this one, because it won't live anywhere near the cleaner shrimp. 

I've only ever seen one of these for sale personally, and can find very little information about them, but Donald Duck shrimp are really neat and strange. They seem to be reef-safe, as far as I can tell. Pederson's anemone shrimp are another great option that will host anemones and mushroom corals. Both of these are more shrimp, of course, so you would want to be careful with them around your cleaner shrimp. Cleaner shrimp can be territorial, and the more shrimp you have, the more likely you'll run into that problem. You probably shouldn't add another shrimp (except the sexies, since those seem to be OK) unless you have somewhere else to put it if there's a problem, but they are cool inverts. Maybe an option for after your cleaner dies of old age? 

If you decide you need more snails in the future, a money cowrie is a neat snail-like animal to get. Uncommon to see for sale, but present occasionally, and usually not expensive. Unlike most other cowries, they're usually agreed to be reef safe. ReefCleaners occasionally has them, and pet stores that have more unusual stock will sometimes get them in. I had one in my prior tank. 

Oh, and periwinkles. Again, RC has these. If you happen to place an order from there, get 10 or so periwinkles- they're super tiny and you won't see them much, but they're pretty, and it's nice when you spot one. 

They're hard to find for sale, but micro brittle stars are cool, great scavengers, will breed in your tank (to reasonable numbers only, unless overfed), and have essentially no bio-load. There are two species usually seen in the hobby. A white one that gets about 1.5" across (from leg-tip to leg-tip) and breeds rapidly, but tends to have population surges and dips, and a "black" one (they look maroon striped under my lights) that get 2" plus and breed slowly and steadily. When it's safe to go to public places in your area again, go to your LFS and ask if they have any in their display or sale tanks. Places that do, and many places do have them, will generally sell you some. They don't ship well and aren't really available online, so your other bet for getting them, aside from a lucky hitchhiker on a frag, would be to check if local reefers have any they'll sell or give away. I love 'em. 

 

Your tank's really turned out well! I like when smaller tanks have an assortment of reasonably-sized corals, not tiny frags but not huge space-gobbling colonies, with space between them. I'm glad my advice was helpful, too. I'm having a hair algae surge myself, as a big snail died and created a nutrient spike during a point in time where I was having too much fatigue to do a quick water change. The corals didn't mind, but there was something of a nutrient free-for-all amongst the algae, so now I have hair algae again. I've been gradually pulling it out and working to get nutrients back down, without putting them too low. At least I don't mind algae that much, as long as it isn't hurting my coral. 

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Leo_ian

RFA, sugarcane shrimp (i dont rmbr the scientific name) i think they are also called tiger cleaner shrimp, tigahboy on r2r had them in his marco tank, rlly cool, feather dusters, cocoworms, australian christmas tree worms (bigger and easier to feed than indos). 

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Tired

Sugarcane shrimp are a new one for me, neat. Rock flower anemones could be good. Feather dusters, coco worms, and Christmas tree worms are all a bit iffy, especially in a smaller, newer tank. Better wait until it's well-established and will be able to both handle the feeding those need, and provide them some food between feedings. 

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Leo_ian

Oh how about a saron shrimp? The males are fuzzy @Snow_Phoenix has them in their tank

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Snow_Phoenix
12 hours ago, Tired said:

Sugarcane shrimp are a new one for me, neat. Rock flower anemones could be good. Feather dusters, coco worms, and Christmas tree worms are all a bit iffy, especially in a smaller, newer tank. Better wait until it's well-established and will be able to both handle the feeding those need, and provide them some food between feedings. 

Sugarcane shrimp are wonderful, but a bit cryptic. I've had them twice in the past and they were peaceful. 

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Tired

Saron shrimp, you have to get the right species, as the others aren't reef-safe. I think it's marmoratus that are considered safe? 

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