By: Glenn Laborda
A lot of people believe having the best light or having the best skimmer will allow you to have an amazing reef. While that does help; the real unsung heroes of any coral, frag, or zoa garden is your cleanup crew. These invertebrates are ho0w you actually keep pristine reef aquariums. Aesthetics always count.
First are the herbivores. This will include all the best algae eaters. Snails are the most common. I usually recommend 2-3 per 10gl of tank volume. My favorites are the Red Band Trochus, Astrean, and Turbo species. All are fantastic algae eaters in any coral or frag system.
Second is our scavenger. This includes all of our crabs and shrimp. These invertebrates will help with uneaten foo0d, detritus, and also hair algae to some degree. Their claws and longer arms are great for picking between zoanthids. Some of the safest options are the Cleaner and Fire Shrimp, Emerald Crabs, and the smaller hermits like Scarlet and Blue Legs.
Finally, some of the oddballs I love for coral and frags are a bit different. Tuxedo Urchins are great algae eaters for all types of algae's. They tend to move or "wear” your zoas, so be aware of that. Peppermint Shrimp's are also good for Aiptasia, but can be a little aggressive to corals, frags, or zoas at times. There are a lot of invertebrate options, so check out our site and explore today or give us a call at 973-365-0200. We've got a number of M-1 aquarists to assist you in choices.