What eats brown algae off sand?

Xerious

New member
Get some Inverts!

Snails, hermit crabs, maybe a star fish... they will take care of your tank for you.
 

sir_dudeguy

New member
i dont recomend those nassarius snails. Well i do, but not for getting algae off the sand. They'll burrow underneith the sand, leaving the top layer (and algae) completely untouched.

IMO, go with cerith snails. They're great at eating the brown algae off of sand and rocks. (and glass for that matter).
They're somewhat slow tho, so you may want to get a good number of them so they can outcompete the algae.
 

chrisstankevitz

New member
Thanks for all the great info!

My 24G nanocube has:
4 Asteria snails
3 Mexican hermit crabs
3 Scarlet hermits crabs
1 blue leg hermit crab
1 emerald crab
7 Black margarita snails
4 Nessarius snails
3 Bumble bee snails
2 Turbo Snails
1 Peppermint shrimp
1 Skunk shrimp
1 Small pulsing xenia frag on the sand - hope it will grow up the wall

I leave the lights on 10-12 hours a day trying to get the beautiful coraline to grow and to drive the xenia up the wall. :)

Some days the walls are beautifully clean, others they have brown algae. My cleaners get to it eventually. But nobody seems to eat the algae off the sand.

Thanks for the great help people!

Chris
 
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t5Nitro

New member
Ya, my tank is a pull your hair out kind of head ache right now, my sand, walls, and rock are covered with the brown algae and i been cleaning the glass as much as possible.
 

SuperNerd

New member
Diamond gobies and most "sand sifting gobies" will starve unless they have a LOT of sand to sift through. Last I heard margarita snails were not tropical. How long have you had them and at what temp?
 

sir_dudeguy

New member
no margarita's arent, but they are for parts of the year i guess...like for 3 months or something is what someone told me. And they do a great job eating cyano too.

But diamond gobies will eat stuff like mysis and others too...not just the pods in the sand. At least one of my friends got his to eat anything he puts in the tnak lol.

But try those ceriths...they've always eaten any brown algae in my tank. Theyv'e eaten a little bit of cyano as well, but nothing to make any dents really.
 

jdm01

New member
I have a diamond goby. It is great as long as the rock is on the bottom of the tank. If not ... watch out for rock slides!!! I second the hermit crabs. They are good but they will eat snails.
 

chrisstankevitz

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8072026#post8072026 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by SuperNerd
Diamond gobies and most "sand sifting gobies" will starve unless they have a LOT of sand to sift through. Last I heard margarita snails were not tropical. How long have you had them and at what temp?

I've had margarita snails for two months. Tank is at 79deg F.

None of the LFSs in my neighborhood have Ceriths. They don't even know what they are. All the LFSs have loads of black margarita snails though.

Chris
 

sir_dudeguy

New member
ya my lfs has ceriths but they're way overpriced. Try looking on reeftopia.com

If you buy in bulk from them they have discounts. I just got 50 astrea snails for like 12 bucks or soemthing...it was in a group buy ya, but check out your locals and see if they're doing any group buys. They came out to like 20 cents each or something. I havent bought ceriths from them tho, but i did notice that they're cheaper.
 

SuperNerd

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8076757#post8076757 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chrisstankevitz
I've had margarita snails for two months. Tank is at 79deg F.

None of the LFSs in my neighborhood have Ceriths. They don't even know what they are. All the LFSs have loads of black margarita snails though.

Chris

If they don't know what a cerith is, or are pushing you into buying a boatload of animals that will inevitably kick the bucket over a relatively short period of time, then maybe it's time to look into other sources, if possible.

FWIW as far as I know most people have to physically disturb the sand every once in a while to help get rid of the algae growing on the sand.

Have you checked your water parameters? Maybe you have a nutrient problem.

IMO you have more than enough algae eating inverts in your tank. In fact you may even be over loaded at the moment.

Two months is not much of an indicator of survival (in fact even one year, depending on the species, doesn't say much).
Margarita snails come from baja California where the temp is between 72-78 F, with 78 being the max temp. Like the catalina gobies, their bodies have evolved for cooler water. They will not live long at typical reef temps. It's kinda like you're slowly cooking them.
 
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chrisstankevitz

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8077234#post8077234 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by SuperNerd
Have you checked your water parameters? Maybe you have a nutrient problem.[/B]

Why do you suspect I have a nutrient problem? Should I not have algae on my sand?

1. Light shines on my sand
2. Algae grows on my sand
3. Nothing in my tank eats the algae on my sand

Thanks for your help and advice. I agree, the fact that my two LFSs do not know what a cerith is is a bad sign. Perahaps I pronounce it wrong? I say it as "sare-ith"

Thanks everyone!

Chris
 

SuperNerd

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8077900#post8077900 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chrisstankevitz
Why do you suspect I have a nutrient problem? Should I not have algae on my sand?

1. Light shines on my sand
2. Algae grows on my sand
3. Nothing in my tank eats the algae on my sand


No, like I said before most people do have some algae growing on their sand and have to routinely disturb it in order to make it "look like new." Often the presence of overwhelming algae growth is indicative of nutrient buildup.

Cerith(which rhyms with "hair...ith" :lol: ) snails are good little algae eaters but no snail will completely get rid of your algae without some help. You will need to manually remove some as well on occasion.
 
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E&Js

New member
a goby would be great to eat the algae off the bottom. watch out though that you dont have any large opennings in the top of the tank...they have been known to jump out...mine did about 1 week ago.
 
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