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Importance of Saltwater Invertebrates to the Reef Aquarium

Simply put; No reef tank is complete without invertebrates. Invertebrates provide numerous benefits to the marine aquarium, the same way they do in nature. Algae and fish waste removal are two of the main benefits, however there are countless others. In this article we will discuss some specific groups of inverts and how they can help you keep your reef healthy.


The first group of inverts we will discuss are algae eaters. Algae eaters can help keep an aquarium looking clean and presentable during cycling, algae blooms and normal growth in an established aquarium. Nuisance algaes such as cyanobacteria (red slime), brown diatoms, bubble algae, green algae and hair algae can all be battled with diet specific inverts. Select species of crabs, hermits, snails, sea slugs, sea urchins and starfish can provide excellent algae control, as well as add color and diversity to the tank.


Another group of inverts to address are the detritus eaters. Detritus can be described as any organic matter that naturally occurs in the aquarium; some examples are left over fish food and fish waste. Detritus can build up in the tank, dissolve in the water column and cause elevated levels of ammonia, which is the number one fish killer in home aquariums. To avoid this build-up of detritus, we can put invertebrates to work doing what they naturally do in the wild. Select species of crabs, hermits, shrimp, sea urchins, starfish, anemones and sea cucumbers can help keep detritus under control, therefore keeping water parameters in check and your fish healthy.


We have only begun to discuss the need for invertebrates in the reef aquarium. There are many interesting species to learn about, and many beautiful critters that can safely be kept with your fish and corals. A good mix of invertebrates can help you achieve a thriving, healthy aquarium with a 24-hour-a-day maintenance crew!


Dylan Forsythe is the owner of ReefScavengers.Com an online store that ships live saltwater invertebrates and corals directly to your door. To learn about invertebrates and the role they play in the reef aquarium, visit ReefScavengers.Com


Source: www.ezinearticles.com