Hermits and snails...


New member
My CUC in my display tank has consisted of hermits and a few different type of snails (turbo and trochus).
I had a few extra shells in the tank, but aparrently not enough. I found two snails dead this morning. I'm debating on my options moving forward.

I'm going back and forth here between three options.
1). Find a different type of hermit that is smaller or less aggressive and also add some more shells.
2) Get rid of the hermits. Find didfferent CUC members to replace them
3) Get rid of the snails. They do eat algae when it gets on the glass, but then I still need to scrub it anyway because they just put a snail stripe through it



New member
I stopped using hermits because they kill the snails for the shell. I get my cuc from reef cleaners. They have hermit free crews.


New member
I stopped using hermits because they kill the snails for the shell. I get my cuc from reef cleaners. They have hermit free crews.

Yea, I am really on the fence. I like the hermits for their CU ability and the fact that they are something else active in the tank to look at. The snails will eat algae, but are not active and quite frankly unpleasing to look at when cleaning the glass.

Flaring Afro

Puffer Geek
I haven't had trouble with hermits but have a lot of extra shells, not just a few. Also, it's possible the snails died first - especially mexican turbos which really do not do well in our warm tanks.

At the very least I wouldn't go without snails because they do a better job with different algae. Hermits are great at finding the food scraps that fish don't want or cannot get to, but tiny snails can get a lot of that too, if carnivorous.


New member
Yeah, hermits kill even if there are extra shells. They also kill each other for sport. I like both snails and hermits for their practical cleanup uses and for the extra life and activity they bring. After a year, my tank's populations of both have reached some kind of (temporary?) equilibrium. Don't know if the surviving snails are just good escapists or what.

I have blue legged hermits. People say scarlet legged hermits are more e peaceful. I have no clue.

I say: Let their numbers reach a stabilizing point. See if that's enough. I didn't need the big numbers of snails or hermits I originally started with. Add other CUC like brittle or serpent stars for fun more so than for their clean up purposes.

Good luck.


New member
I went hermit-free for a while and recently put some back in because the tank is just cleaner with them. They really pick over the rocks. I also enjoy their antics. Snails get taken out occasionally but that's life on the mean streets of the sandbed.


New member
I have both Hermits and Snails and have certainly noticed that I have a lot less snails now that I did when I introduced the CUC to the tank a couple of months ago. I'm sure some of it is natural die-off but I've also noticed hermits wearing snail shells.

In a month or two I'll probably order some more snails but I doubt I'll ever order more hermits.


New member
Just out of curiosity, with the hermits killing snails....does this happen often? Like once they take out a snail, are they satisfied with that shell for some time?

I'm kind of planning out my little cleaning crew to start with once my tank is done cycling and was just curious. When I had a tank awhile back I had a few in there and they were very entertaining to watch.

Dr Colliebreath

New member
What lifespan do you expect from your snails and hermit crabs? Some only seem to last a couple of months and some up to a year or more, with only a few (larger snails and hermits) going much beyond a year).


New member
I bought empty shells on eBay. They are sold cheaply by pound in all sizes and shapes. So it's enough for everyone. Since hermits/snails last a year or I add few of those them every few month to keep population really high. Stomatella snails take care of their population themselves.


New member
I have both as well I just restock on the snails occasionally when I notice extra empty or stolen shells and only keep a couple hermits. They really are great for getting in and out of all the rock crevices


New member
I keep a bunch of extra shells in the tank for the hermits to change when they feel like it. I've had a couple hermits act crazy for a few days, wearing shells that were entirely the wrong size for them, then turn up dead. Or rather, then turn up being eaten by a snail. Oddly I haven't had any hermits eat snails. Maybe the kind of hermits I have don't like the kind of snail shells I have, but at any rate, they all do their jobs on the CUC, and I think the hermits are fun to watch.