best sand stirer


New member
Just broke down tank and removed crushed coral and put in a 2.5 in sand bed in display (about a week ago) I already have a pistol shrimp and watchman and 5 naserius snail what would be the best choise for a sand stiring critter to keep sand turned.


New member
are horse shoe crabs reeef safe my kids would think that they were cool and you know the best wai to keep wife off back about tank is to involve your kids Not to mention great to teach them about new things.


New member
I've never had a problem with them, but make sure you get them small and all your rock is stable. They will constantly dig and tunnel through your sand, so any rock not touching the bottom glass may be toppled. Also, don't be suprised if you "lose" your crabs for days/weeks at a time, they'll disappear under the sand, but are still alive.

Good Alex

New member
hermit crabs are also great sand stirrers, i c mine on the sand bed all the time, cleanin it. but u should also make sure that there is enough flow going across so the sand isent staying still and collecting detritus.


too much mess and sand storms for me. same with a goby. i like to keep some corals on the sand bed.
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Team RC member
Team RC
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14128085#post14128085 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Ritten
My fighting conch does a good job.

I agree. Get several and they will do a good job for you. Sand sifting sea stars will decimate your live sand then starve.


New member
horseshoe crabs get huge and bulldoze things. sand sifting stars will devour most all your helpful benthic life and then starve. conchs and cucs are a good suggestion, but they can get big as well and your tank size is at the minimum for a cuc if I've got my facts straight. A good clean up crew that includes a healthy number of nassarius snails - maybe 25+ for a tank your size - would do the job just fine. Check with John before you buy anything:


New member
horseshoe crabs are not suitable for ANY size aquarium they get 2 ft in lenghth an over 1ft across they will eat all living stuff in your sand and cause MANY MANY problems


Pitcher Hill Reef Society
I'm looking into a diamong goby & nas snails-I have a tiger cuc. who does an ok job but doesn't really stir the sand just slowly goes thru and cleans it leaving his wake of slightly cleaner sand turds!

If you have any corals on the sand bed most sand stirrers will take some patience and many won't work out-too much sand getting kicked up on to the corals.


New member
funny, Yes I have an open brain and an maze brain on my sand bed, I can see where this cound be agitating.


New member
Be careful with Nassarius if you have clams. All of my nassarius seem to be very attracted to the byssal thread of my otherwise healthy and still-alive clams. I prefered the clams so there are no more nassarius.

Hermit crabs are way over rated. Too opportunistic for life in my reef. Never stirred any sand.


New member
I've found that the gobies I have had make too much of a mess moving sand all over the place.

The cucumbers tend to move too slowly to make a dent in a large tank.

Hemits are great for rock, but if there's food coming into the tank they'll eat that instead of cleaning your sand.

Horseshoe crabs have worked great for me. They're constantly moving, which keeps the sand bed stirred. But I have made sure that my rock was placed down to the glass and that I got them small. I purchased four about the size of a quarter, three years ago, and just took them out about 1" in diameter. So I wouldn't worry about them getting too big.

Just me 2 cents