The Algae Buster Profiles Part Two

The Algae Busters Part Two

Dealing with aquarium algae can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the hobby. While there are plenty of products on the market to help combat invasive algae, introducing a clean up crew can help with natural removal before it ever becomes a significant issue. In part one of this mini series, we dove into four algae buster species that may be a great fit for your needs. In part two, we will break down another four clean up crew members that perform unique tasks to keep your aquarium free of algae and other pests. If you are experiencing an algae invasion, you are more than welcome to reach out to our customer care team to get any questions answered or acquire a specific recommendation.

Within part two of this mini series, we will dive into another four species that will do some serious work to keep your aquarium looking clean and healthy. We will first discuss a crab that is the ultimate aquarium scavenger, and a snail variety that can munch down on plenty of algaes. Then we will mention a shrimp species that will help keep your fish healthy and parasite free. Finally, for an added bonus we will discuss another shrimp variety that will take care of a common pest.

Summary:

The Ultimate Scavengers: Blue Leg Hermit Crab
The Acrobatic Algae Eater: Trochus Snails
The Fish Scrubber: Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Added Bonus: The Aiptasia Vampires: Peppermint Shrimp

The Ultimate Scavengers: Blue Leg Hermit Crab

Blue Leg Hermit Crabs

If you are looking for a crew that can take care of any internal aquarium mess, look no further than a group of Blue Leg hermit crabs. Despite their small size, a group of blue legs are more than capable of eating large amounts of diatoms and pest algae’s. We prefer this variety as opposed to the red legs due to their smaller size and lack of interest in eating coral. Whether it’s leftover food making it down to the sandbed or just standard diatom removal, blue leg hermits can be a high valued member of a cleanup crew. Hermit crabs are one of the few scavengers who will eat turf and occasionally green hair algae. For their ability to be true saltwater scavengers, a blue leg hermit fits the bill of an elite algae buster.

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The Acrobatic Algae Eater: Trochus Snails

While there are a significant amount of snail species who can do some serious algae eating, should they flip upside down, most of them will be causing more harm than good. Allow us to introduce the Trochus snail which can flip themselves over should they ever wind up on their back. While this may seem like a small benefit, preventing the nutrient explosion that can be caused by the death of a snail will allow an extra check in your water chemistry protection.  In terms of the amount of trochus snails needed for your aquarium, we recommend one snail for every 5-10 gallons of tank depending on the level of algae within your system. Another great characteristic of Trochus snails is that they usually have a pretty easy time breeding in home aquariums which will beef up your clean up crew while saving you money for more exciting purchases. Don’t let their maximum size of one inch fool you, Trochus snails are known to do serious damage to a plethora of algae varieties. Due to their unique ability to flip over while still being one of the top algae consuming snail species, the Trochus snails has solidified themselves as a true algae buster.

Trochus Snails

The Fish Scrubber: Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

For our next featured species within this article, we will take a look at the Skunk Cleaner shrimp who’s cleaning abilities come in a unique form. While you won’t see skunk cleaner shrimp eating algae off of the rock or sandbed, they will work hand in hand with the fish in your aquarium to keep them free of parasites and dead tissue. Skunk Cleaner shrimp are more than just something cool to look at within your display tank, they will ensure and protect the health of your fish. Most fish species are pretty good about allowing the cleaner shrimp to scan them for any dead tissue or parasites. If you are lucky enough to witness the shrimp hopping onto a fish, you will get a glimpse into one of the coolest symbiotic relationships in the aquarium world. You can keep these shrimp in pairs if you would like but, we recommend a minimum of 10-15 gallons per shrimp to ensure they have enough space. Skunk Cleaner shrimp are usually docile and will occasionally look for dead tissue on your hands should they enter the tank. These shrimp perform a unique variety of cleaning which makes them a welcomed member of an aquarium cleanup crew.

Added Bonus: The Aiptasia Vampires: Peppermint Shrimp

Anyone who has had to deal with aiptasia knows just how frustrating eradicating these pest anemones can be. The best way to deal with these anemones is to prevent any of them from ever making it into your display in the first place. Another great line of defense would be the introduction of a peppermint shrimp to your aquarium. Peppermint shrimp will feed on Aiptasia and they will work to remove them from your aquarium. It is important to select the proper amount of shrimp based on the size of the aquarium and the aiptasia population currently inhabiting your tank. These shrimp will grow to a maximum of two inches and therefore will not take up much space. While Peppermint shrimp do a great job consuming aiptasia, they are more of a preventive measure to ensure that the anemones never have a large population in your aquarium. For each of these factors, Peppermint shrimp are one of the best options when it comes to aiptasia population management.

Peppermint Shrimp

Final Thoughts:


We hope the second part of this series has given you some insight into more saltwater aquarium species that can be categorized as algae busters. While there are a significant amount of products on the market to help reduce and remove aquarium algae, having a natural way to eradicate invasive algae is the most sustainable solution and will not require constant maintenance. Selecting the proper cleanup crew will make a significant difference in the overall appearance of your aquarium. If you have any specific questions or if you are looking for a clean up crew recommendation, our customer care team would be happy to assist you.

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