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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy everyone,

This is my official first post, here it goes! :)

I bought a yellow tang off a guy on craigslist. I've noticed that at night he gets this dark brown spot on him, then in the morning, after the lights have been on for a few, it goes away. Is this stress related? I don't have any moonlights and it's really dark in our house (our house backs up to the woods).

I cycled the tank in Dec and started adding stuff mid Jan., the yellow tang being one of the first things I added. I have:

90 Gal w/ 30 Gal sump.
T-8 lighting, ~120watts total
1 Yellow tang,
2 young tank bred clowns
a very big coral banded shrimp (he came with the yellow tang, and chases him off from time to time)
some hermit crabs (7 or 8)
100+ lbs of live (ish) rock.
cucumber
Striped hermit crab.
5 inches of 'live' sand. (there are no critters in the sand)

I have a few other questions, I'm assuming since they should be easy answers, one giant thread is preferred...

1. Is this algae normal? I'm seeing this fingery stuff all over my rock. Is this 'normal' algae or a problem that needs tackling. I have a shipment of 50+ snails coming in the mail.

2. Concerning the shipment of snails coming in. My goal is to get a diverse healthy tank. Do I need to get ride of the hermits or the striped hermit crab in order to achieve this goal b/c they can attack snails and creepy crawlies in the sand? or is this just people being super sensitive/paranoid?

3. Finally, concerning the 'live sand'. I've send a tank or two full of worms and stuff, but I don't know how to seed my tank to start growing this process. Any thoughts.

4. Ok, one more. :) I'm new to saltwater (the tank was setup as fresh for 4 years, when we moved I switched it over), my wife has been disappointed that the live rock isn't full of 'stuff' crawling around the tank. I had a mishap when I got the rock and the tank temp got down to 60 ish for a week while we were away. Perhaps I killed this stuff off? I don't really know what she's envisioning (from a tank in a classroom in highschool...). Any direction or hints?

Thanks everyone for the help!
 

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The color change you're seeing on your tang is normal. Many fish alter their color at night for camouflage while "sleeping".

#4: Take a look at your rock and substrate at night, ideally with a red light. You should see some action then. It does take a while for the population to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Snail types

Yeah, I just put in an order at reefcleaners.org, I picked up a cleaner package + some others for diversity (since I was already ordering and they're so cheap.). I also got some stuff to start up my sump as a refugium.

Here's what I ordered:

32 Dwarf Ceriths
11 Nassarius
20 Florida Ceriths
10 Nerites
8 Dwarf Planaxis
10 Medium/Larger Empty Hermit Shells
1 1 Penny Macro Algae
1 Chaeto
1 Red Gracilaria
1 Ulva
1 Pods+
20 Zig Zag Periwinkles
1 Fern Caulerpa
 

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1) That fingery brown stuff is normal. Some form of algae (not sure what). I had it on my new live rock when I started my system 2 months ago. Emerald crabs, and red/blue hermit crabs will pick at it all the time. I have a 90g/34g sump system and I have 2 emerald crabs, 2 blue crabs, and 1 red crab and that’s all it took (that brown fingery stuff is all gone). The snails may consume it as they consume the green hair algae, but I don’t think I’ve ever really witnessed them only consume that.

2) I probably wouldn’t add the striped legged hermit crabs as they are little more aggressive, and I wouldn’t stock a TON of the other hermit crabs, but I would have some. You don’t need nearly as much as a lot of people (and companies) recommend. My 2 emerald crabs and 3 hermits do nothing to snails or corals.

3) Good quality live rock (that was packed well (i.e. live box) and shipped no longer then 2 days) would have started this process for you. I haven’t added any worms, etc, but after 2 months I’m seeing more and more activity in my sand bed (I have a 5" DSB in display tank). Otherwise, you can get some worms from your LFS if they don’t mind going around catching them.

4) Oh, I see. Well, worms are pretty tough, but I’m sure some things did die. You won’t see much “stuff” crawling around in the day time. You might see pod type creatures. Worms and stuff come out at night.

Lastly, as for the quantity of your cleanup crew, I personally think it is a bit much, but everyone has their own opinion. The 32 dwarf ceriths are fine, as long as you don’t mind a lot of little snails on the glass. The 11 Nassarius are great! Definitely have those. I probably would’t add the 20 Florida Ceriths or the 10 Nerites (again, olny my semi-educated opinion). The cerith and nassarius snails are the best. A lot of people don’t like turbo snails (because they can and do knock over coral frags), but I have 3 and they do an awesome job. In total I have 30 dwarf ceriths, 10 nassarius, 6 astaea, 3 turbos, and then the 4 crabs, and they keep everything clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. I've had 6-7 hermits and the stripped hermit in there essentially from the beginning, I guess they're just not keeping up.
As for the snail purchase, the set I bought was the '30 gal breeder tank', I thought it sounded like more than enough. I threw in the other random snails just to increase the diversity.
I'll sneak up on the tank at night and see if there's anything crawling and chk at the LHS (fish doctors in ypsilanti) to see if they can help me restock the creepy crawlies.

Thanks again.
 

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to add life to the tank get a few small pieces of live rock from a reefer that had his tank up a while, a cup or two of sand would help as well. I hand a lot of luck adding , aka feather dusters they are butifial and cheep and do a lot of eye catching movements. they last a while then peace out but after that my tank was loaded with them.
 

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hermits eat meat, like snails and what not..... :butcher: they are somewhat good at cleaning up messy eaters fish wise, but not the best.

True olive nerite snails are great, but a lot of the others you are going to have to watch because they will fall on their back and not be able to flip over. If a hermit finds them, they will be lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
From the reading I did (but could have failed miserably at) I thought that I bought snails that wouldn't have problems flipping themselves over. As I understand the Ceriths aren't an issue and the Nerites that I got are supposed to be the right ones. Nassarius should stay in the sand bed. So that leaves the Planaxis and Zig Zag Periwinkles which are supposed to stay 3/5" (what kind of measurement is that?? :) ) and one the glass near the surface. I hadn't heard much about these, but figured I'd give 'em a shot.

Yeah, once they're in the tank, I'm going to be watching the striped hermit crab pretty close. I'm betting he gets a transfer to by buddies tank, but he is TONS of fun to have around, so I'll wait and see.
 
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