What Are They and Why Are They Important?
“Clean-Up crews” or “CUCs” are a vital part of any reef tank or FOWLR system. These crewsare comprised of snails, crabs, shrimp, starfish, urchins, and sea cucumbers that help to eat and break down uneaten food, waste, tank pests, and pesky algae. They aren’t as flashy or as colorful as some of the fish or coral you may have, but CUCs will help to keep your ecosystem functioning properly.
When you are doing the initial setup of your tank, you can hold off on adding your clean up crew; a newly established tank will not be able to support them. Once you hit the 2-3 month mark, you should be able to start adding them. The organisms you add will depend on the needs of your tank, but there are a few basic members you will always want to have in your tank.