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Can cheato serve as a replacement for a cleaning crew...




... are both needed for a clean looking tank?


Maybe. Depends on the size tank, stocking, lighting, and so on... Generally weekly 10-20% water changes water changes (+ a cleaning crew) are good enough.


The chaeto will compete for nutrients, but it will not keep unfavorable algae out of your display.

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If the chaeto fixates nutrients like phosphate and nitrate faster than a particular nuisance algae, then you'll see a reduction in the nuisance algae. However, keeping these things from being available in your tank is the better alternative. A clean up crew is good to have, but you shouldn't need a large one. Make sure you feed good food. Mysid and cyclopeeze are good, clean foods. I'm talking about the frozen varieties. Avoid flakes! And of course only feed what is consumed at one feeding. It's hard to do that with cyclopeeze, and a little goes a long way, but normal feeding amounts won't cause any harm and will make lots of things in your tank pretty happy.


As for water changes, I think that 25-30% is a better number. 10% is definitely too small to help reduce pollutants or nutrients. The larger, the better. Just make sure that salinity, temperature, alkalinity, and ph are matched.

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There's nothing wrong with flakes! My tank has done better in terms of algae growth when I regularly feed flakes as opposed to thawing out brine shrimp.

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