• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

I need a good janitor.

Jan 31, 2003
Well I fed my octo for the first time last night. The first tiny fiddler made it into a hole in the rocks and the second one got nailed. This morning I found both carapaces lying in the sand under the rocks. What do you think would be the best janitor to keep the area under the rocks from looking like a cemetery? I might try hermit crabs bu they'll probably get added to the graveyard before they can clean it up. I think the best thing would be a small brittle star or two. Not the green serpent stars though. I'm not at the point of having foot long bristtle worms in my tank(like some of you :lol: ) just a couple tiny ones in the rock. What do you guys think???
Definetly go for the brittle stars, i have kept reds and serpents with cephs no bother... They can almost be as much fun once they get used to you! :smile:

I have used urchins in the past too but had to remove a diadem cuz the octo kept jagging itself on the spines while trying to steal the urchins food LOL
yeah, the octo keeps leaving her trash in the hard to get to places in the rocks. Thats why I thought a brittle star would be best so it could reach into the tight places. Will the brittles or serpents eat crab shells?
Shells aren't much of a problem decaying in the tank, are they? Chitin is mostly just carbohydrate which, I think, breaks down pretty cleanly? I presume you could just pull them out every so often, if need be.

I really like brittle stars too. Before my crash, I had three of them, plus a sand-sifting star, and three urchins (a pencil and two blue tuxedoes). I would probably now only have one urchin. The pencil urchin broke off bits of my live rock and was constantly knocking corals over, and the three together were making too big a dent in my live rock's coralline algae.

The nice thing about blue tuxedoes (Mespilia globulus), aside from being gorgeous, is that they aren't anything like diadema...their spines are very short and apparently not too "stabby"--they look sharp, but I have accidentally squeezed one once while wearing latex gloves and didn't get pricked. I try not to handle much anything in there without gloves (vague notion of their safety more than mine) so I can't vouch for sure how "safe" tuxedoes are, but I'll bet they're mostly harmless for octos with such short spines.

Well the octo cleans them out pretty good, it's just the piled up shells that were bothering me. I guess I could just use a turker baster occasionally to suck them up. We have several short spined urchins in the touch tank at the aquarium where I work. They're purple or white, but I'm not positive if that's the names of them. We have no problem handling the short spined urchins at all, I don't think anyone has ever gotten hurt.

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