CUC Recommendations?

Larry101

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Hello, I am fairly new to the reef aquarium hobby, although i do have plenty of experience with freshwater. I was hoping for some recomendations on what cleanup crew members I should have for my aquarium. I am in the middle of cycling the tank which I cycled with a raw shrimp (very smelly and I don't recommend), and I have an aqueon 15 gallon column tank. I know this tank isn't really ideas considering the footprint of the tank, but I wanted to go ahead with it anyways because for some reason I am just attracted to the look of it. I have an aquaclear 50 HOB filter along with a 240gph powerhead and 12 pounds of dry rock and 5 lbs of live sand. I have been cycling for about 3 weeks now, but I think I am just going to keep cycling for another month just because in 2 weeks I am leaving for a 2 week vacation so its just convenient. I am planning on keeping 2 ocellaris clownfish in the tank and thats it for fish. But I don't really know much about what would consist of a good cleanup crew that doesn't overcrowd the tank too much. I know if you have too many snails in such a small tank, one could die as there isn't a sufficient amount of algae and sorts to go around so some could starve and add an ammonia spike if death occurs, and I want to avoid this. Also any tips are much appreciated as I need all of the information I can possible get, Thanks!
 

Spare time

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Consier percularis clown fish as I believe they are slightly smaller. For a clean up crew, I would recommend a couple of hermits, a couple of different snail types to clean the rocks and glass, and a conch with 1 or 2 nassarius snails.
 

Biokabe

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Are you planning on keeping any corals? Your CUC changes depending on your answer.

With corals: Mixture of nassarius, margarite, turbo, astrea, cerith and trochus snails. Maybe a conch, though I don't know if you'll have enough surface for them. You want a variety of different snails because they all eat different things and have different appetites, so variety will help you address all of your needs. If you're feeling adventurous, add in a hermit or two. Personally I'm not fond of hermits with corals; they're far too eager for food and will climb over your corals to steal food from them, potentially damaging the coral in the process. Additionally, hermits will catch and kill snails.

Without corals: Same mixture of snails, I'd also add in a peppermint shrimp (make sure it's actually Lysmata wurdemanni) and a good selection of hermits - blue-legged, blue-knuckled and scarlet. Halloween Hermit if you want something different, but I think they get a bit bigger.

A tuxedo urchin might also be worth looking at, but your tank might be a little too small for an urchin.
 

Uncle99

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I banned every type of crab from my CUC more than 10 years ago now.
Since then, I have not had any mysterious disappearances, and I am not replacing my snails.

70C7A03C-2E64-474D-AAB5-9F6C47B13F95.jpeg
 

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I think hermits get a bad reputation as the mysterious troublemaker and ultimately scapegoat but I have had nothing but success with them. They can steal food from corals but typically are too slow and occupied in my tank to get to the corals with food (plus you can get food the corals can eat that hermits can't)
 

PatW

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I would be careful with adding clean up crew. Many venders suggest a pile of animals. I have gotten by on far fewer. I like snails. I use trochus and small turbo. I am not keen on crabs. But many people have good luck with them. Whatever you get don’t add grazers until you have algae and then add slowly.
 
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Larry101

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What should be added first, fish or cuc or both at the same time? Also, I understand that I probably shouldn't get crabs because I will be replacing the snails and there is a possibility of negative effects on corals (and yes I am planning on adding corals in the future, but not for a couple of months, softies only). What are your recommendations for not only species of snails but exact quantities of each for a 15-gallon column aquarium? Thanks!
 

Cstar_BC

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I would start off with 10 snails (various species - get rock /sand/glass lovers)

Get 3 hermit crabs

And that leaves 2 extra CUC members you could get if you work off 1 gallon per CUC member .

A better idea of how much rock vs sand vs glass you have would change my amounts .

If it’s more glass do more glass snails ,
If it’s minimal sand footprint then you need to have minimal amounts of creatures in the sand
 
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Larry101

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Hey, I am still not on what clean up crew I should get. I am not leaving on my trip anymore :( But on the bright side my tank if finally all cycled and all of my water parameters are in check! I am planning on having mainly soft corals in the distant future, but for now, I am going to continue to let the tank establish with a cleanup crew and 2 ocellaris clownfish. I definitely have more glass than sand, so I will need more glass cleaner snails for sure, especially since this is a column tank. And I am still not sure about crabs, some think they are wonderful, and some think they are mischievous. Also, I am not really sure about how many CUC members I am going to need, especially since I don't want to add too much to the bioload. Please let me know your suggestions, Thanks!
 

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