TOP 3 Cleanup Crew Critters & when's the last time you got a new crew?

BRS

When is the last time you purchased cleanup crew critters?

  • Past few days

    Votes: 79 12.4%
  • Past few weeks

    Votes: 165 26.0%
  • Past few months

    Votes: 201 31.7%
  • Over a half a year

    Votes: 89 14.0%
  • Over a year ago

    Votes: 97 15.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 0.6%

  • Total voters
    635

revhtree

Owner Administrator
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
43,654
Reaction score
68,612
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
The saltwater aquarium clean up crew plays a very important role in helping us maintain the ecosystem of our reef tanks. The CUC or cleanup crew can consist of a variety of critters, mixed and matched to fit your specific cleaning needs. But which ones are the best? Let's talk about it!

1. What are your TOP 3 cleanup crew critters?
Please don't just say "snails" but be specific as to what type of snail you like best and so forth.

2. When is the last time you purchased cleanup crew critters?


cleanup crew.jpg
 

Stoney

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
279
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Stomatella snails - they're free, can shrink or grow population depending on algae supply, and you never have to flip them over. They really are the ideal snail IMO.

Scarlet hermit crabs - only crabs remove every last trace of filamentous algae and scarlets do it without being overly aggressive like blue legs. They also look amazing.

Yellow tang - eats pretty much everything from algae to fish poop. Really the backbone of the cleanup crew that would take dozens maybe hundreds of snails/hermits to replace.
 

SauceyReef

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
351
Reaction score
392
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Akron, Ohio
Honestly a pistol shrimp has been the best cleaner I think I have ever added. Snails are nice, but nothing beats a razor to the glass. The pistol shrimp and other sand sifters clean the whole sand bed though and keep it looking nice and white!! Plus it avoids any buildup of nasty chemicals in the sand bed which I guess is also a perk .
 

wmb0003

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
49
Reaction score
94
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Auburn AL
I have tried to renew my cleanup crew twice in the past month but due to shipping delays, had several DOA. Normally reefcleaners is 2 day shipping to my address but the recent orders have been 3 days(which according to their website, should be fine) but I have been experiencing significant loss. Guess I will wait until shipping improves or try a different vendor or LFS.
 

WiscoFishNut

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
1,512
Reaction score
6,212
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
WI
The saltwater aquarium clean up crew plays a very important role in helping us maintain the ecosystem of our reef tanks. The CUC or cleanup crew can consist of a variety of critters, mixed and matched to fit your specific cleaning needs. But which ones are the best? Let's talk about it!

1. What are your TOP 3 cleanup crew critters? Please don't just say "snails" but be specific as to what type of snail you like best and so forth.

2. When is the last time you purchased cleanup crew critters?

cleanup crew.jpg

1. Trochus snails, tuxedo urchin, and scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp
2. Probably 6 months or more. I used to buy em way more frequently, but have slowed down once realized they're not going to take care of my cyano problems lol
 

SauceyReef

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
351
Reaction score
392
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Akron, Ohio
I have tried to renew my cleanup crew twice in the past month but due to shipping delays, had several DOA. Normally reefcleaners is 2 day shipping to my address but the recent orders have been 3 days(which according to their website, should be fine) but I have been experiencing significant loss. Guess I will wait until shipping improves or try a different vendor or LFS.
Unfortunately the same thing happened to me with them. Lost more than half of my order. Luckily they were pretty nice about it. Crazy enough, the 10 hermits and trochus snails I got at my tank being a month old are still ALL alive.. The trochus getting so large I may have to rehome some.
 

footgal

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
6,030
Reaction score
10,378
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
Top favorite is definitely a stomatella snail! Love those little guys! They don't die if they get flipped over, self regulate population (hence I haven't had to buy any in over a year), do a good job cleaning the rocks, don't knock over frags because they barely have a shell to use as a battering ram, and clean the glass at night so they never impact my view during the day! Absolutely my favorite and check all the boxes for me.

The second two favorites would be skunk cleaner shrimp and copperband butterfly/filefish. Most people don't think copperband when they think CUC but to me, they're just a way prettier alternative to a peppermint shrimp and very effective aiptasia busters. I have the filefish as a second choice because I think that they're a more acceptable choice for the answer to this question and way more suitable for smaller tanks, which seem to be becoming more and more common. Of course, the skunk cleaner is very effective at cleaning up leftover food particles and (in some cases) also helps to clean larger fish of parasites which is very cool. My shrimp tries to clean my arm which I think really adds to my favorite factor.
 

Wyvern

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
321
Reaction score
292
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pinellas FL
My Molly Miller is starving out my CUC to the point of me feeding the tank, lights out, but again, Scoot, the Jaba lookalike, is up 24/7.

He looks like he ate a gumball.

Also, Scarlet skunks, always eating something, and the are stunning to look at and humorous to watch.

My Strawberry Conch is great at cleaning up diatoms and moving sand.
 

jhuntstl

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
384
Reaction score
610
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
St. Louis
Mexican Turbo, Banded Trochus, and Pitho Crabs. They seem to do the bulk of the work in my tank.

My last purchase was the Pithos about a month ago. I try to only buy CUC members when I think an algae is on track to be an actual nuisance.

I've been looking into more sand sifters for the future. I reguarly clean my sand now, but that will be more difficult as the corals grow.
 

EricR

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
116
Reaction score
121
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
California USA
I'm only 5 months in (37 gallon FOWLR + inverts) so haven't had to replace/replenish. (Nothing's died yet).

My favorite are:
(1. Tiger Sand Conch (aka vacuum cleaner)
(2. Blue-legged Hermit Crabs
(3. Nassarius Snails

*I was tempted to say bristleworms but didn't want to upset anyone.
 

fish farmer

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
2,161
Reaction score
3,170
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brandon, VT
I have tried to renew my cleanup crew twice in the past month but due to shipping delays, had several DOA. Normally reefcleaners is 2 day shipping to my address but the recent orders have been 3 days(which according to their website, should be fine) but I have been experiencing significant loss. Guess I will wait until shipping improves or try a different vendor or LFS.
They are my go to as well...but it took 4 days to Vermont once....that was too long.

My top three would be trochus, mexican turbos, and urchins for algae on rocks.

I bought snails last year I think around this time and wasn't planning on adding more this fall.
 
BRS

Do you keep "Reef Safe with Caution" fish?

  • YES (tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 294 62.4%
  • NO

    Votes: 162 34.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.2%
TSM Aquatics
Top