As crucial as your corals, fish, and marine plants are to creating the perfect saltwater aquarium, a setup isn’t complete without the proper cleaning crew. Tank invertebrates are responsible for consuming phytoplankton and parasites within an ecosystem, controlling the growth of things such as bacteria and algae. However, certain species could actually destroy your specimens if you aren’t careful, so make sure you’re only using the top invertebrates for your reef aquarium.
Blue Leg Hermit Crab
Identified by their bright, blue-tipped legs, the blue-leg hermit crab is one of the best creatures for removing any hair algae or detritus forming in your tank. Maneuvering along rocks and the sand bed, they pick out these particles and consume them, cutting down the rate at which you’ll need to clean your tank. It’s important to note, though, that these creatures can become territorial when they’re searching for new shells to inhabit. As such, it’s recommended that you plant a few empty ones in the tank to limit this aggression.
Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp
The scarlet cleaner shrimp is also a highly beneficial specimen to keep in your tank. With its yellow body and stunning red streak along its back, it’s a fascinating sight to behold alongside your bright fish and corals. It’s also particularly fond of eating parasites and the dead skin tissue off your fish, making it a great resource for maintaining your fish’s overall health.
Another top invertebrate for your reef aquarium is the emerald crab. Small and bright green in color, these crabs are great at scavenging for food along the bottom of the tank as well as picking apart films of algae. Most of their diet consists of waste products from other organisms in the aquarium, and they’re typically very docile with little impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
Starfish are often the most sought-after invertebrates of them all—particularly the sand-sifting starfish. This is because they’re very effective cleaners. These specimens will typically cling to the glass of your tank and feed on algae or burrow into the sand bed and stir up other sources of sustenance. They’re considered some of the most thorough members of a cleaning crew, and they’re simply a pleasure to own.
To find the best invertebrates for your saltwater aquarium, reach out to World Wide Corals. We offer a wide variety of marine tank invertebrates, all of which are reef-safe and thorough in their cleaning efforts. So, you won’t need to worry as often about controlling the growth of algae in your tank.