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The Real Cost of a Saltwater Aquarium

By Bloomberg Rankings - 2012-08-22T16:10:13Z

Photograph by Marevision

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Underwater Janitors

There is nothing like a natural cleaning crew to keep your aquarium at its best. Over a period of six weeks, add bottom feeders such as crabs and snails. They not only clean up the algae they take care of fish excrement, leftover fish food, fish slime and loose fish scales -- all the stuff you don't want to touch. Keep in mind that some fish may find the cleaning crew extremely tasty, so make sure they are compatible.

$162: Algae Attack Pack-Deluxe for 75-gallon tank (includes mix of 65 Hermit Crabs, 30 snails, 3 Abalone) -- liveaquaria.com
$50: Blue Linckia Starfish
$50: Red Fromia Starfish
$120: Red Crinoid (Feather Star)

Running Tally: $5,079

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