7 Best Marine Invertebrates For Nano Tanks
For all saltwater tanks, having a solid clean up crew (CUC) is essential. Nano tanks are no different. If you currently have a saltwater nano tank, it’s important to know that not all invertebrates will be suitable for your tank. Choosing the right inverts for your nano aquarium will make a huge difference in how effective the crew will be.
Some invertebrates are reef safe while others are not. Be careful with choosing your inverts if you have corals in your nano tank as some can destroy and kill corals easily.
Saltwater invertebrates will work together as a crew to perform certain functions in your tank. Most invertebrates are scavengers that constantly move around the tank eating up all the decaying organic material they can find. Some inverts like snails will remove algae from your glass walls and rocks.
Although some people will purchase inverts to have as a desired aesthetic part of your tank, others will buy them to be used as your clean up crew to help keep your tank healthy and looking great.
This article will show you 7 best marine invertebrates for nano tanks.
Cleaner shrimp, blood shrimp, and peppermint shrimp are all good choices. They generally don’t cause any problems and do a great job eating leftover foods that don’t get eaten by the fish. Peppermint shrimp will also take care of aiptasia which nobody wants in their tank.
All shrimp are easy to care for overall. They are not aggressive and won’t harm corals. The blood shrimp tends to hide more than the others, but the cleaner shrimp is very active and can be seen moving around the rocks cleaning up scraps.
Emerald crabs are great scavengers and can be seen all over the tank picking at rocks. They are reef safe and are great for eating nuisance algae like bubble and hair. They are easy to care for and not aggressive. They won’t bother other inverts or fish you have in the tank.
3. Hermit crabs
Hermit crabs are small, cheap, and easy to find so feel free to add many of them to your nano tank. They do a great job cleaning up algae and devouring uneaten foods. Red-legged and Blue-legged hermit crabs are the most common types to see in home aquariums.
4. Turbo snails
The Turbo snail is one of the more popular snails that hobbyists like to keep. They will eat large amounts of nuisance algae over a short amount of time. They love to eat hair algae off the rocks and glass. They are harmless and won’t bother other tankmates. If you have an algae shortage in your tank, you can supplement their food with dried seaweed.
5. Nassarius snails
The Nassarius snail loves to move under sand looking for uneaten foods and debris. They are a reef safe snail and won’t harm any other tankmates. If your tank is well established, you won’t have to worry about feeding them as they will survive on any bits of waste and detritus your tank provides. Because the Nassarius snail loves to bury under the sand, you may not see them very often.
6. Sexy Shrimp
Another reef safe shrimp that is great for a nano tank, the Sexy shrimp is truly one of a kind. They are known for unusual body movements and unique behavior. They have a very distinct body pattern and colors. They are also very tiny and should be kept in groups as they will feel more comfortable. The Sexy shrimp is a scavenger and will love to eat any extra debris in your tank. You can feed them plankton, frozen and flaked meaty foods.
7. Tuxedo Urchin
I know. Before you say wait a minute, you can’t have an urchin in a nano tank, hear me out. If you have a larger nano tank of about 25 or 30 gallons, you can have a Tuxedo Urchin. They generally only reach 2.5- 3″ in size and they make a great algae eater. For example, I have a 32-gallon Coralife Biocube and it is great for a Tuxedo Urchin. Providing you can grow enough algae in your tank to support it. These Urchins will take care of hair algae and coralline algae. They usually don’t bother other tankmates and corals, but you may see the odd snail stuck to their back!
Image credit: Flickr
Marine invertebrates can be purchased at liveaquaria.com