Converting dead vegetable and animal matter, uneaten food, decaying plants, casualties etc to a soluble form is greatly enhanced by the 'clean up crew'. By eating nuisance algaes, uneaten food etc and passing out excreted waste that is swiftly blasted into a soluble form by the strong circulation, the skimmer is able to swiftly remove unwanted organic matter from the tank.
Snails swiftly convert hair algae to faeces which the skimmer removes. Cushion stars, brittle stars, hermit crabs and netted dog whelks all play an invaluable part in converting detritus, dead matter and insoluble faeces to soluble organic waste for the skimmer to easily remove.
To maintain a healthy natural reef aquarium a clean up crew is indispensible.
Unfortunately many kinds of crab - but especially shore crabs and swimming crabs - as well as Shannies love eating snails and hermit crabs. Therefore I've tried to exclude these creatures from nmy aquarium - although they are tenacious hitchers on live rock!