Looking to add some inverts to my tanks. Thinking either an urchin or starfish. I haven't started my reef yet but I know in the future I will be adding some zoas and polyps. What are some easy to maintain inverts that are also reef safe?
If this is the same 10gal tank from your other thread, the red slime issue needs attention before anything else ornamental goes in the tank and you may need to add a clean-up crew if there isn't one (wasn't clear what the stocking was). Echinoderms like sea urchins and sea stars are some of the more fragile inverts in terms of their sensitivity to water parameters and need a mature, well-established tank. A 10gal is really too small for any of them except for Asterina stars, which may or may not be something you want.
How many to stock depends on the species.
- Peppermints: groups.
- Skunks: one or a pair at most to be safe in all but large tanks since they will pair and then sometimes kill other individuals. I can't remember offhand whether the same behavior pattern exists with blood/fire shrimp.
- Coral banded/boxers (not in the Lysmata genus but often sold as "cleaners" and will clean fish under the right conditions): should be kept singly even in a pretty big tank unless purchased as a mated pair.
My bad, when I hear people talk of cleaner shrimps I always assume they mean scarlet cleaners (Lysmata amboinensis) which I would still advise keeping at least a pair. I've found that individually/pairs they tend to spend most of their time scared and hiding whereas in larger groups they thrive and I've never had problems with them killing each other
The bigger the space, the less risk there will be of that sort of thing. However, for smaller space cases, I've even heard of a couple cases of L. amboinensis (scarlet/skunk) taking out different shrimp species when a big enough size disparity was present between the two. It's obviously not the norm, but not impossible when the animals are too densely packed.