Clean up Crew for 185 Gallon?


New member
I am in the process of setting up my 185 Gallon and I am interested in opinions for a clean up crew. This is going to be a mixed reef...LPS & SPS. I am not the biggest fan of Hermit Crabs. In my smaller tanks they never did much for the algae problems and only ended up killing my snails.
This seems to be on average the recommendation from the different sellers for a appropriately sized clean up crew:
48 Astraea Turbo Snails
48 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermits
36 Nassarius Snails
24 Scarlet Reef Hermits
24 Cerith Snails
12 Peppermint Shrimp

72 Hermits seems to be way too many....but I have not had a tank this size before.
What are any other suggestions that you may have?:fun4:


Premium Member
I'd yank the blue legs, and cut the peppermint shrimp down to 4-5. If you don't have an aptasia issue, then yank the peppermints off the list too. If you don't have a sand bed, then yank the nassarius.

Scarlet hermits are pretty mellow against snails.

What I would ADD to the list, are some Mexican turbos. They don't last forever, but are pretty much the only thing that will tackle the red algae, particularly red cotton algae.


New member
Thanks Mark! I do have a sand bed. I already have some Mexican Turbos in my current tank as well. Are there any other things that are good for keeping the sand clean?


New member
Brian - I was checking out that website - Thanks! Does anyone have any other vendors that they have had good results with?


Will Dive For Food
Premium Member
I would skip the Astraea and go with a Trochus species instead. Better grazers IMHO and they can right themselves if they fall off the glass or rocks. Astrea's have to land right side up or they are done for.

Add a Tiger conch, or two, to help out with the sand bed. May want to throw in some Nerite's also for those tight spots where Turbos and the others cannot go.


New member
these quantities are just way too much.
they will cause any cleanup to happen very quickly,
and then 75% will starve in short order.

if you are willing to have things happen a little more slowly,
then by less. for my 200gal tank, i got a 40gal package
(from garf) and some snails (and fuzzy chiton and fighting conch)
from reefcleaners. it took a few weeks to stabilise and
i never had any significant die off.


New member
i would also cut the numbers down by 75% then add more as you need them. i add a ton of critters to my tank when i set it up and a lot of them have died. also it seams that my hermits are only hard on my snails if there is nothing else to eat or there are no other empty shells in the tank.


New member
unless u have an algae issue, i would skip them all together...i only have 5 XL snails and 2 urchins in my 1350gl