Question about a clean up crew amount....


New member
46 Bowfront, pretty much cycled, ammonia just a small bit high, will obviously keep watching that. Aquaclear filter, penguin bio wheel, good lighting, live rock and live sand. Tank will have been up 3 weeks tomorrow.

I have a yellow tail damsel in it now and its doing fine Yesterday I put in 2 Turbo snails to help control and get a handle on the brown algae forming on the rocks and substrate. Plus 3 small hermit crabs.

For those of you with expertise in this area, how many snails and crabs can I go with? I want to put in an emerald crab as well, when will it be ok for that.

I'm shooting for next Saturday to hopefully have the tanks zero out in the ammonia area. PH is 1.024. Nitrate and Nitrite are zero. Using the API test, Ammonia is just a hair above zero, less than .25 perhaps, but close I suppose.

Thank you all.


New member
Its early yet for crabs & snails with the ammonia not being utilized completely yet due to low bacteria count. Ammonia is hard on the damsel down the rd. better to just add ammonia drops daily till reads zero then animals that includes crabs & snails, don't be surprised if they live short lives it happens when pushed fast. At this point just do not add anything more and see how they do. I take it salinity is 1.024 that is fine.
I'm wondering why you are reading ammonia at all and zero on Nitrites and Nitrates.
I'm going to take a leap of faith & say that i think you have not even yet reached the Nitrite stage yet because you did not mention that these lvls came & went so if i'm correct when this happens everything in the tank will die.
3 weeks is just about right time wise for the Ammonia stage then begins the next two.
Also the crabs won't put much of a ding in the initial uglies of brown algae or diatoms just have to be patient & allow the DT to cycle & mature thru phases including GHA also.
This being the case id put a small amount of food by ea. crab till actual algae happens so they have food to eat and maybe will survive. For ea. crab toss in several slightly larger shells as they like to swap shells constantly or they will kill the snails for their shells. Good luck & test often to see what is going on until you read zero on Ammonia, Nitrites, and finally Nitrates then you can do a large water change and should be ok still expect the ugly phases to last months with multiple factors driving them different for ea. tank due to rocks, flow, and nutrients in the water.