Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday Am Quick Tip #93: Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Curious

Crabs, shrimp and snails all make up members of your tank’s clean up crew. Given their nature, they crawl over everything and can make you think they do more harm then good. Here’s how to make sure they are staying in line.

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Comments for this article (17)

  • Howler says:

    I had a hermit attack a brain coral to get some food out of the coral’s “mouth”. I think he was starving – see link below. I now make sure that the crab isn’t starving before food can come close to any coral.

  • Howler…crabs and shrimp will certainly steal food from corals that are feeding. It’s an easy steal so why not?! Try giving your crabs/shrimp a small piece of table shrimp. They’ll go after the large morsel and leave the corals to (slowly) eat their food.

  • Mark H. says:

    Good tip Mark, why type of snails and critters would you recomend for the remote refugium with a deep sand bed?

  • Devin says:

    Thanks for the tip Mark! I’m one of those that will take a crab or snail off my coral and just throw him in the back of the tank or in my sump if it’s a nuisance. BTW…what is that pink coral flowing in the water behind you…looks great!! Since my birthday is tomorrow hopefully I can put in a request for one.


  • Matt says:

    I see this from time to time… I keep scarlet reef hermits only at the moment… They have never done anything any harm that I’m aware of… Best of the bunch from what I’ve heard/read …

    Great tip… always worth knowing about these sorts of things… Easy to miss or mistake for something else… 🙂

  • B0 says:

    Can you do a video to break down the corals by name in your new tank. So I can see what some mature corals may lookl like in my tank as it matures. Thanks

  • Andrew says:

    I’ve been having trouble with my cleaner shrimp stealing silverside directly out of my Anemonie. It’s gotten to the point to where I have to give him a piece of fish when I feed the Anemonie….

  • Rich says:

    When I feed my brain coral, I direct feed, then cover it with a used, clean, clear plastic strawberry container, the ones with holes in them. It keeps out the clean-up crew and any other animals that want to steel some food. My Yellow Tang keeps banging his mouth on top of the plastic trying to get at it.

  • Jin says:

    Mark you said you dont like Bangai Cardinals , it was a year ago in your previous tank .

  • Tyler says:

    I feel sorry sometimes that people do not get educated about corals and the way the react to things, not to mention that at night they are frequently closed up anyway.
    This IS THE PET STORES FAULT and NOT THE CONSUMER. My soon to be expanding coral business is ran out of my house and when people purchase stuff that are newer to the hobby, I basically show them everything I can think about, including the negative sides of certain critters. Yes, I want to make money, but if someone buys something and takes care of it wrong I dont want them to get mad and not come back. It would be wiser for LFS’s to Know the skill level of their customers and educate accordingly to prevent questions like this, not that they are bad questions, just something that should be common knowledge amongst Reefers. (i could see the look in your eyes, you were thinking the same thing I bet)

  • brittany says:

    Ok I’ve been having problems with my tank ever since got it and I don’t know what do. my fishies are dieing and don’t know why. I don’t know anything about these fish tanks and I’m really trying plz help! any tips??also I have this red stuff kinda like site but slimy is it harmful to the tank and fish?i keep cleaning my tank but it keeps coming back. and also can plants kill your fish? thank yo
    u SOooooooooooooooooooo. Much!

  • DeeFromBrooklyn says:

    I have had moch more headache with hermits eventually going after snails and taking shells. What a pain… I started marking the shells with nail polish so I can tell when they’ve been shell jacked.

  • DeeFromBrooklyn says:

    Mark, I’d like to see a quicky tip on how you have your controller set up. Thinking of getting one but not sure what I want on it.

  • Lucas says:

    This is true although sometimes you get an odd ball. I had an emerald crab that would eat the polyps off acroporas (literally, he actually pulled them out of the coral and ate them LOL). And only ate acroporas (did not touch any other species of SPS).

  • Fergus says:

    Hey mark as i’m only thinking of getting a tank I don’t now what clean up members I will need what do you think?

  • Fergus…I made a video about clean up crews. Watch that video here

  • James Day says:

    I love your tips, wish you lived around the corner so i could pick your brain. I’ve been into salt water for about 25 yrs but i don’t know everything, shoot i .hardly ever test my water i just know what works and stik to it. I want to up my game. I’d like to send you some pix, but dont know how, NOT LAPTOP FRIENDLY. i would love some of your input, suggestions on my setup. If you have the time. Help pimp my aquarium. I know once you see my set up you will be intriguede. Thanks REEF DABBLING ENTHUSIAST. SORRY A LITTLE TORN ON WHAT ME PERSONALITY IS.

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