Marine Invertebrates, Benefits of
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

s your saltwater aquarium plagued by algae? Aggressive algae growth may be due to excess detritus or polluted substrate. Fortunately, you can easily remedy these common problems by including certain marine invertebrates in your aquarium.

I've got a saltwater aquarium and it still seems like I spend more time cleaning then enjoying its beauty. What can I do? A. Saltwater invertebrates, such as snails, crabs, and shrimp, are known as the ocean's cleanup crew for a reason. They can consume mass amounts of detritus, algae, and excess food. Adding some to your aquarium
may work wonders. Plus, each is fascinating to observe.
The two basic types of beneficial marine invertebrates to consider are herbivorous invertebrates that feed on algae and scavengers that comb aquarium substrate for organic waste. Both types of invertebrates are excellent, safe alternatives to the harsh chemicals and aggressive cleaning often employed to address nuisance algae.

Algae are unsightly in any home aquarium. If left unchecked, the smallest algae strand can quickly overtake even the largest of aquariums. Keep algae in check by adding snails and crabs to your aquarium. However, keep in mind that no one species of algae eater can control all the different types of algae present in your aquarium. In other words, employ a variety of algae eaters for the most efficient and comprehensive algae control. Introduce algae-eating snails for film algae, hermit crabs for hair algae removal, and Emerald Mithrax Crabs to keep bubble algae under control.

Organic detritus, including food and fish waste, settles to the substrate in even the best-filtered marine aquariums. These wastes contribute to high phosphate, ammonia, and nitrite levels, which not only encourage aggressive algae growth but can also stress or kill sensitive aquarium inhabitants. By adding scavenging invertebrates, such as sea stars and sea cucumbers, you build an exotic army of waste removers and sand aerators.

For your convenience, our expert staff has developed two lines of saltwater "cleaner packages." Both the Algae Attack Pack and Detritus Attack Pack contain multiple species of beneficial fauna to biologically process algae or organic waste materials. They effectively and efficiently clean your aquarium to reduce aggressive algae outbreak. Best of all, packs are available in a variety of carefully calculated sizes to offer the maximum cleaning power for your specific aquarium. But remember, these cleanup packages are not for aquariums with large predatory fish. In aquariums with aggressive fish, these invertebrates may end up as tasty snacks rather than a cleanup crew.
Freshwater Invertebrates
Many beneficial and ornamental invertebrates are also available for freshwater aquariums. These freshwater invertebrates eat excess fish food, decaying organics, and more. They also add a sense of the exotic to any aquarium. Check out for a wide variety of freshwater snails, shrimp, clams, lobsters, and more.

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