Crabs and snails?

tireur

New member
I was reading a post about snails being better at algae than crabs. Since they would be first thing I get for the tank I was curious if I should realy get snails too or if I can just get crabs and wipe the algae off the glass withouth any real trouble?
 

Fish_wiz2

Mangroves are kool.
Get snails and hermit crabs because there is a chance with your crab eating coral and to me some crabs are ugly but snails and hermit crabs only eat algae and will usually not bother any corals also they come in unique shapes and colors for extra $$$.
 

Dubbin1

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11644369#post11644369 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Fish_wiz2
Get snails and hermit crabs because there is a chance with your crab eating coral and to me some crabs are ugly but snails and hermit crabs only eat algae and will usually not bother any corals also they come in unique shapes and colors for extra $$$.

Wow that was painful to the eyes and mind...

By getting a variety of snails, you can skip the crabs. Your snails will love you for not getting crabs ;)
 

tireur

New member
Guessing it's 1 or the other then? I would rather the hermit crabs, but is it much better to get snails?
 

Dubbin1

New member
A variety of snails will do a much better job then crabs. You can still get crabs but they will kill the snails.
 
I second the variety of snails, but disagree with skipping crabs, unless you just don't like crabs. Each of the snails will have there preference on what they eat. Many of the snails will reproduce in the tank if a food soure is available. In my experience though, stay away from turbos and astreas, they don't reproduce in the tank and the astreas can not right themselves when they fall. Astreas and turbos are also more likley to be singeled out as there shells are prefered. Ceriths and smaller snails are more likely to get by.

Yes, the crabs will occasionally eat the snails, sometimes for the shell, sometimes for the snail. Snails starve to death easily in our tanks as we get an algae cycle, stock up on snails and then the algae goes away, not because the snails are eating it, but because the tank and/or hobyists tend to mature with time. Starving snails make easy targets I guess. The crabs also need the shells as they grow.

Also, crabs, despite what you read here, are omnivores and do not just eat algae. Overcrowd on the crabs and all of your detritivore life (snails, ampiphds, worms, feather dusters, micro stars, even other crabs) is endangered!

Having stated that, I would not do a tank without crabs. They have an unmatched personality. I once had a half a dozen hermits, and then one day added one more. He killed the others. I was ****ed off, but I think my detritovre life is happy there is just one. I also have a single red Mithrax crab. he is not out much, but when he is, its quite a treat.

Chris
 

tireur

New member
Are there any safe combinations of the 2? I've been wanting to get hermit crabs since I started the tank and I just stare at the tanks every time I walk by in my LFS, I've been there once a week for the past 2 months.....so I looked at them a lot.
 

Otogi

New member
I did a mix of both hermits and snails, I just used a 2 to 1. 2 Snails for every 1 Hermit crab. that way if some of the hermits kill of some of the snails I will still have enough.
 

leoslizards

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11644441#post11644441 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Dubbin1
Wow that was painful to the eyes and mind...

By getting a variety of snails, you can skip the crabs. Your snails will love you for not getting crabs ;)

LOL!

I got about 7 dwarf blue leg hermit crabs and 5 turbo or astrea snails. One of the snails flipped over one day and couldn't get up and it eventually died. I just found one of my blue leg hermit crabs inside the snail's shell yesterday. I've read that if a hermit crab can't find a bigger empty shell when he's ready to move, that it will kill a snail and take its shell.
 

Zoophile

Premium Member
You can stick to micro hermits in the hopes they won't get into a whole lot of trouble. Providing them with empty shells may (MAY) help save some snail's lives. The micros tend to prefer Cerith shells. My Astreas and Turbos have done a great job cleaning and none have been offed by the crabs...yet. If you love the hermits, get a couple and just accept and build your tank to their behavior.
 

Thunk

Premium Member
Along with what others have said,

Go for small hermits like 1/2 an inch the bigger guys tend to topple corals and frags since they are kinda clumsy.

Mexican turbos are awesome snails but they don't live very long but they do an awesome job of cleaning the glass and powerheads even. They are very large snails you might only want a couple of these. Pricey too.

Nessarius snails, man these guys do an excellent job of keeping the sand clean. They hide under the sand and only pop up when they smell food. Get lots of these, just add them slowly over several months as your tank matures. Like say everytime you buy a fish buy a few of these guys.

Regular turbos, astrea, cerith get an asortment.

Aim for 1 or so per gallon of CUC (clean up crew)

And dont worry, you will still be cleaning algea off the glass lol. Buy a mag float now:D
 
Aim for 1 or so per gallon of CUC (clean up crew)

Most of these will starve to death. Sure they will do the job at first and then once the algae is gone, they die one by one until the population matches the available algae. But each time one dies, they add the nutrients back to your tank. Save the money and the hassle.

The Turbo snails dont last long becase they are cold water specimens that are sold in our hobby, they are collected off the west coast of Mexico which is cold waters.

Trochus snails I believe are a better alternative to the astrea snails.

Again, a mix of ceriths and nassarius snails will work well and has been a great suggestion. There are others available that work well too. The smaller hermit crabs will attack your ceriths. The larger ones will prefer the Astreas/Trochus. The Nassarius snails are pretty much safe from the hermits and will spawn in the aquarium.

I would recomend three hermits of one kind, and then half a dozen snails of cerith or astrea (depending on what hermits you get) and another half a dozen nassurus or other snail similar in size. Any more than this on the hermits and you will sterilize your tank of benificial detritivores. Similar, too many snails and they will eat the algae faster than your tank can provide it.

Chris
 

Zoophile

Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11652130#post11652130 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by clsanchez77


The Turbo snails dont last long becase they are cold water specimens that are sold in our hobby, they are collected off the west coast of Mexico which is cold waters.


Chris

I believe you're thinking of the Margarita snails that are the colder water specimens. Turbos do a great job! I agree with you that most people tend to overstock their aquariums with CUC. I can't believe the size of some of the reef janitor packs for sale!
 
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