INVERTEBRATES Are Trustworthy Friends For Aquariums

In addition to your personal efforts in maintaining your aquarium, you can also get help from a team of invertebrates who will work quietly without any expectations. If you know them well, you can realize how valuable their support is in maintaining the natural environment in your aquarium.

There are a number of invertebrates who are friendly to your fish and will happily live in the aquarium. Let us the list them on the basis of functions they perform.

There are mainly three types of functions which the invertebrates perform - the control of algae, the sifting of sand and detritus control.

Red-knobbed Starfish Protoreaster linckii at B...
Red-knobbed Starfish Protoreaster linckii at Bristol Zoo Aquarium, Bristol, England.
 (Photo credit: 

Controlling the algae
You can use snails, sea slugs and crabs for controlling algae in a salt water aquarium. There are a number of snails which can be used for this work. Astraea snails and turbo snails are important amongst them. They come from the Turbinidae family. This is most common family of snails. Both types of snails look similar. Their shell will be conical and smooth. It will look like a turban.
Now the question is how to identify them? Well, it is easy. Just look at their operculum. This is the door which these snails use for closing the shell. It is brown in color.

These snails are algae grazers. However they cannot eat all types of algae. So you should add other snails and crabs to control other types of algae. Some of them are - sea hares, emerald crabs and lettuce slugs. Out of these, sea hares can be the best choice for controlling algae. Emerald crabs are considered to be somehow rare in the world of crabs. But they are very famous for doing their job faithfully.

The work of sifting the sand
For this work your best choice is sand sifting starfish. Tiger Tail Cucumbers are also a good option. They are recommended if you have a bed of sand in the aquarium. They grow up to an inch in length and they live for a long time. Sand sifting starfish will clean up the sand. The only bad thing about them is - they will eat up everything in the sand, including the good stuff.

Tiger Tail Cucumbers will literally vacuum the sand. They will consume bacteria and micro-algae, making it sparklingly clean. The only thing you have to ensure is a reasonably big size aquarium. If the size is small, say less than 60 gallons, there is a risk of water getting toxic due to the waste created by them.

The control of detritus
It includes the particles of food which are left over, the waste of the fish accumulated in the aquarium etc. You can rely on many animals for controlling detritus - Bumble Bee snails, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs and Cerith Snails. You can make a combination of any of these animals for creating an effective team of cleaners and caretakers of your saltwater aquarium.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles 

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