Reef Tool Box: Quick Reference of Utilitarian Critters

by | Mar 22, 2022 | Invertebrates | 0 comments

Livestock selection is a critical part of planning out a system. This should be done well before any money is spent.  It can determine all the requirements: tank size, flow, lighting, and nutrient control levels.  Included in the livestock selection should be some mandatory critters to help naturally maintain the system for algae and pests.  I personally always include a selection of these for every tank I own and use this as a quick short list.  But keep in mind that manual removal of unwanted tank inhabitants by the hobbyist should still be part of basic maintenance.

Clean Up Crew for Specific Algae

I would recommend to add these slowly, a little at a time based on what you are battling to avoid overcrowding. If overstocked they will starve (without supplemental feeding ) and die polluting the water.  I personally avoid hermit crabs since they can be opportunistic and start attacking your snails when they grow too big. Select a wide variety to cover all bases.

Pest Control

Biological pest controllers are great since they will be constantly patrolling for their next meal, but be forewarned that every specimen may not always prefer them, especially if they are fed too well.

  • Ellery Wong

    Ellery is a mechanical systems engineer at a Fortune 500 technology company. He has automation experience in the automotive, appliance, printing and robotics industries as a product development professional but also has over 35 years of saltwater aquarium experience as a hobbyist. He currently maintains a 9 tank / 540 gallon SPS/LPS/Mixed systems. DIY is his forte!

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