QUESTION OF THE DAY The MUST HAVE workers in your tank that really earn their keep!

Are you housing specific fish & inverts for the sole purpose of "working" in your tank?

  • Yes

    Votes: 715 90.2%
  • No

    Votes: 68 8.6%
  • Was unaware of working fish and inverts

    Votes: 10 1.3%

  • Total voters
    793

champyeti

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My large Scarlet hermit is the terror of hair algae. If any starts growing he finds it and deletes it.

I have snails and a Lawnmower Blenny but I don't consider them as effective at totally removing a kind of algae. The hermit will remove GHA completely. He definitely earns his keep.

Also have a yellow neon goby to sit on my hand and keep me company while I work in the tank.
 
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MikeSF

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Tangs for algae, but it keeps me with large tanks because I'm a responsible card carrying member of the tang police :)

Clams for natural filtration, but my tanks have tended to be stony dominant anyways so high light and calcium/alkalinity supplements have been there.
 

whasmack

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I'm surprised that more have not mentioned Rabbitfish or Foxface.... They are my Go-To fish for algae; they are pigs! I no longer will keep Copperbands for Aiptasia - every one I've had eventually lose their taste for it & won't touch them.
 

Arthroverts

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A single Peppermint Shrimp, plus I found out something in the tank (maybe the Radial Filefish?) has developed an affinity for green hair algae. I call that a score :).

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 
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Fishurama

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I have two wrasse, an ornate leopard wrasse and dusky for hunting pests and amphipods(they were eating my zoas since I think there were to much population)
I have a green brittle star for algae, detritus, and left over food my messy snowflake eel doesn't eat(these guys literally have a symbiotic relationship and share the same hole/rock which is cool/strange. But anyone with a snowflake knows how messy the are when eating, so this is why think the star doesn't mind, free food, and it brings food the eel steals. True love. LOL
I have a diamond goby for the sandbed.
Lawnmower blenny for algae i can't reach(my tang does jack, only eats what i feed)
and then the snails,conchs, and other CUC.

My hunting beast <3 (although my Dusky might be better) Those mean eyes are meant to get those pests lol.

ornate leopard wrasse.png

ornate leopard wrasse 2.png
 
Last edited:

mta_morrow

Of course I have room for 1 more fish!
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Algae
A7E259B1-1F68-474B-A27C-0B3E50A5D63D.jpeg

Sand
CCA3DFBB-77E7-4DAC-B7E1-4D387B61A89A.jpeg

Bad bugs
BCEEB7DE-AB7A-4023-AF79-65E955166AB7.jpeg

and more sand cleaning
5E539DA5-9615-49EF-A745-A71FFB545290.jpeg
I should be more specific to the question asked. The only livestock I purchased solely for purpose is a tiger conch and a purple shirt spine urchin for corraline control.
 

eschaton

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IMHO the best fauna for keeping the tank clean are always live rock hitchhikers and other cheap inverts which can readily reproduce in your tank. That way they expand their population until the food source (algae or detritus) is taken care of, leaving the tank in equilibrium.

I'd actually say buying something like a wrasse for pest control might be counterproductive, insofar as it's going to eat your pest, but also a lot of microfauna which would otherwise help with tank cleanup.
 
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wallyg

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Snails, peppermint shrimp, emerald and Sally Lightfoot crabs, bristleworms, pods, tubeworms, featherdusters, Medusa and spaghetti worms, and not forgetting the brittlestars
all make up the clean up crew. They work and play hard (hence the baby peppermints popping up!)
I liked Sally Lightfoot until it ate my feather duster last night
 

Auquanut

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Melanaurus Wrasse - pest control
Kole tang - any and all algae (This guy is an algae cleaning machine!)
2 urchins - same
Lots of snails - same
Emerald crabs - bubble algae
2 Engineer gobies - stir the sand under the rocks (I don't think there's any sand left under my rocks)

Other than the Emerald crabs and the snails. I didn't get any of the others soley for their benefits to the tank. I did have their particular contributions in mind when making a decision though.
 

lapin

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Snails for rock, snails for sand. Wrasse for worms and other pests. Lawnmower for mowing the lawn. Sand sifter for sand piles. Peppermint shrimp for aiptasia. Other shrimp to remove bits and pieces from the holes in rocks. Emerald crabs for bubble algae control. Pencil urchin for rock cleaning and occasional coral head removal. Flame angel to nip at everyone and keep them working.
 

jlanger

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My choice for CUC are Banded (Black Foot) Trochus Snails, Tongan Nassarius Snails and Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs. If I have any nuisance pests, I will add a few Peppermint Shrimp for aiptasia control.

Every tank that I have owned (that is large enough) has had a Yellow Eye Kole Tang; every one.

I'm a fan of gobies and pistol shrimp combos, so they will keep the sand bed well disturbed as I will "assist" in making sure they have work to do.

I'm a big fan of the rabbitfishes for algae control. I had a One Spot Foxface that would devour bubble algae, but the following one didn't even glance at it.
 

gcrawford

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Blennies and lots of snails help take care of mine. When I start growing gha on my powerhead connectors/cords, I'll grab one or two snails, set them on it them, and it is gone in that area within 24 hours. But mine isn't a nano -- I have other, larger fish helping out as well. But my blenny is busy picking at the rocks.
Thank you!
 

Neil S.

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Today let's talk about the fish and inverts that really earn their keep! They are the best bang for the buck when it comes to housing them in exchange for the "services" they provide!

What are the MUST HAVE workers (fish,inverts) in your tank? Please tell us why as well!


image via @Mike&Terry
3.png
I picked up a Filefish for battling aiptasia (he does eat aiptasia). I also picked up a boxfish, not as a specific worker, but it turns out that he is also a really good aiptasia eater, and spends all day grazing on the rocks...picking at things that I can only guess are micro algae. So between the two of them I've not got any aiptasia left (at least that I can see). I also have about 15 blue legged hermit crabs, 5 white (very lazy) snails (can't tell you there names), and 3 Trochus snails, to help manage the algae.....which for the most part they seem to be doing quite well. I also have a Diamond Backed Goby who is amazing at keeping the sand really cleaned and turned over along with 3 Nasarius snails to manage the subsurface sand and to eat things from the sand bed. So far these are working quite well. They are all (with the exception of the lazy snails) earning their keep.
 

mattdg

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Peppermint shrimp and Trochus snails come to mind, but there is nothing like a thriving sponge population in the cryptic area of an established reef. For me there has always been a correlation between an aquarium taking off and a healthy population of sponge in the overflow area.
 

Is Reef Conservation/Stewardship a factor in your hobby decisions? (private poll)

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  • Somewhat Imporatant

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    Votes: 34 9.1%
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    Votes: 13 3.5%

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