Do I need a cleaner fish?

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by Slyler, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Slyler

    Slyler Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of fish that seem to want to be cleaned by my cleaner shrimp, show up where the two of them hang out and flash for them. the cleaner shrimp don't care to clean them or anything. this has been going on for a few months, and I haven't found ich, or disease on the fish, I think it's just part of them to want to get cleaned. Should I look at getting a cleaner wrasse/neon goby to try and clean them instead? or just leave them alone since everything looks fine? or any other suggestions?
     

  2. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Goby Whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Some folks will swear by a cleaner wrasse but they often don't do that well and are hard to keep long term. If your fish look healthy, things are probably alright. You could also get another cleaner shrimp too since there are often multiple in a cleaning station in the wild. What kind of cleaner shrimp is it?
     
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  3. BenitaSolo

    BenitaSolo Active Member

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    I don't think it's necessary. From what I understand cleaner wrasse can be difficult fish to keep alive. I randomly, and by a fluke, kept a few aline when I was a new fish keeper. They cleaned my arms and hand just like the cleaner shrimp. Pretty neat! I don't think they survived longer than 4-5 months :/ Rookie mistake
    You could always consider another cleaner shrimp? MAYBE it would be more apt to clean the fish. Keep in mind I know nothing of your system
     
  4. Jeff Hall

    Jeff Hall Active Member

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    Two cleaners is definitely a possibility. I have two in my system and they actually hangout in the same spot together all day. Also, they may be cleaning fish at night. Mine are definitely more active at night.
     
  5. Slyler

    Slyler Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. My system is a 120g and has quite a few fish in it. a few tangs, a flame angel, copperband, couple leopard wrasse, twin spot goby and royal gramma. Because there are a few more fish in there I thought maybe the cleaner wrasse would be happier, or do better?

    I didn't want to add another cleaner shrimp as I read a few articles about them pairing up and then they battle and kill of any other cleaner shrimp. I have the skunk cleaner shrimp. I also have peppermint shrimp that do nothing but steal food.

    I thought about a cleaner fish just for the fact that the fish might be happier with something cleaning them.
     
  6. Florida Sunshine

    Florida Sunshine Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    It's not necessary, but if you do decide to get one, be sure to look up the difference between a cleaner wrasse and a false cleaner wrasse. They look very similar but the false cleaner has a different shaped jaw and is actually not a cleaner at all but will nip at your fish.
     
  7. Baldguy

    Baldguy Well-Known Member

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    You could get one or two blood red fire shrimp. They are cleaner shrimp also. I've had a pair each of Skunk, Fire and Peppermint for years and they all get along fine.
     
  8. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Goby Whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    +1 on fire shrimp, mine is the most relaxed thing in the tank and does clean the fish when they come up to him. He got along well with a peppermint shrimp I had as well.
     
  9. Slyler

    Slyler Well-Known Member

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    I like the looks of fireshrimp, might have to check them out. think a single is ok? or should I get a pair of them?
     
  10. gacolt

    gacolt JEEP STUFF Build Thread Contributor

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    I always have a cleaner wrasse in my reef there great fish cleaners and reduce aggression.the African cleaner wrasse is the most hardy and least likely to eat corals or be too aggressive.
     
  11. Maritimer

    Maritimer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I had a pair each of the blood (shy, never seen), peppermint (pretty shy, rarely seen, ate Aiptasia and small rock-flower anemones) and skunk cleaner (bold, always out, always cleaned my arm, never my fish) until I brought home a blue-jaw triggerfish.

    You might look into a neon / sharknose / yellowline goby. They're not obligate cleaners, but they're happy to offer the service, and can sometimes be had in pairs. Charming little fish, but a naturally short lifespan of about two years.

    ~Bruce
     
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  12. Baldguy

    Baldguy Well-Known Member

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    I've always had a pair but I suppose a single wouldn't get too lonely. The skunk is certainly the most bold but my Fire shrimp are almost always visible. At feeding time all are out cleaning whatever falls to the bottom of the tank.
     
  13. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    The neon goby group Bruce mentioned are a good option, as they are easier to keep than cleaner wrasses.

    Adding another skunk cleaner shrimp would be fine, they won't go rogue.

    A pr of fire/blood shrimp would work, but they are more reclusive than skunk cleaners.
     
  14. mort

    mort Well-Known Member

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    If neon gobies weren't so expensive over here I'd have them in all my tanks. The ones I have had were very happy to clean and don't come with the downfalls of cleaner wrasse.
     
  15. Empress

    Empress Well-Known Member

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    Most Neon Gobies are tank raised. That's why they're a little spendy. But they're worth every penny IMO. I have two and my tangs absolutely love them. They do an awesome job keeping the skin of my fish spotless.
     
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