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FAQs about Marine Crab Stocking/Selection 1

Related Articles: Crabs, Hermit Crabs

Related FAQs: Marine Crabs 1, Marine Crabs 2, Marine Crabs 3Marine Crabs 4, Marine Crab Identification, Marine Crab Compatibility, Marine Crab Systems, Marine Crab Feeding, Marine Crab Reproduction, Marine Crab DiseaseMicro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,


Red Rock Crabs stkg./sel., and Loxorhynchus grandis ID  12/10/11
<Hi there>
I was just wondering, is it possible to keep Red Rock Crabs in aquaria?
<The Sally Lightfoots? They're really too "skittish" to be suitable aquarium specimens... and not totally aquatic... i.e., they spend a good deal of time out of the water>
I see their range goes down to Baja California, does this mean they'll be alright in a tank with no chiller? (The water is always in the high 60s, so still under tropical temps.)
<This temperature regimen is likely fine for most all found along Baja's Pacific Coast and the Mar de Cortez>
 They are kept pretty cold at the local market, how would I go about getting it up to a higher temperature?
<I'd keep cooler... will live longer, not need as much food, make as much a mess, be less aggressive toward each other... They're territorial>
Also, I had the same question about an unidentified crab I can only find referenced as a 'spider crab'. I found a picture online of the same species, but no real name. Any idea what species it is, and if it would be okay without a chiller? Picture is attached. (It's from Google though)
<Mmm, thank you for this source statement. This is likely a Sheep Crab, Loxorhynchus grandis... bad to eat, gets too large to keep in home aquariums. Is cool/cold water>
I'm just trying to avoid a repeat of the 'Dungeness crab at tropical temperature' incident I had as a kid. Thanks for any help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

just an observation. Kooky rant re accidental coll. of crabs...  7/29/11
I was originally on your site searching to find out what kind of crabs I had. they were taken from Galveston Island , off the beach.
<Mmm, sometimes>
But upon reading for at least an hour on your site...the only observation I came away with is that A) most (not all) of you responding to questions on here, talk to the people as if they are complete idiots. Maybe they are, but at least they care enough to research and TRY to make a good home for the crabs they came home with.
and some of them ended up with them ACCIDENTALY. How many of you as kids, or young adults , picked up a shell off the beach. I mean..geesh. Way to go for making someone feel like a complete horrible human being for picking up a shell ...getting home, and knowing they've got a critter in it.
<Happens "all the time"... I've done it/this on more than a few occasions myself>
B) none of you people were BORN with the knowledge you have ....you had to "learn". You had to ask "STUPID" questions. You had to "research".
<More like search>
I know you will likely disregard this email, and just think me to be a complete moron who took a crab out of its natural habitat and brought it home.
<Mmm, no... you seem to me to be an impassioned individual w/ summat to state; not a moron, or person of diminished capacity, nor ambivalent>
But truly after realizing I did a stupid thing...I decided to do what was "best" for my crabs...and ended up on the computer seeking "advice". If this place were not six hours away.. I'd take them back. But its done now. I will seek another site with "friendly" advice on how to give them as good of a home as they can have outside of their natural environment.
I will not be back to your site, and though you will not consider my thoughts valid I'm sure...if you care at all about offending people..perhaps the "smart ass" tone should be taken down a notch.
<... Bob Fenner>
Re: just an observation, wild-accidentally collected decapods   7/29/11

well Mr. Fenner...thanks for responding and like I said..not all of you answering questions on there were smart butts. :) I guess I just read some of the responses and it pushed a button. But I can say one thing...at least you folks DO know what your talking about information and care wise! Have a good day!
<And you. Cheers, BobF>

Pom- Pom (aka Boxing) Crab I have been wanting to pick up a boxing crab (they are so cute with their little anemones) and I asked my marine lady to order some if she ever saw them on the list. She got in 2 today but neither have any anemones. Is there a way to get them to take other anemones?  <Pam, the problem you will have is finding little anemones that the "Pom Pom" can pick up in it's claws. If these can be provided, then the crab should readily pick them up. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

In A Crabby Mood (Adding An Emerald Crab To An Aquarium) Hello WWM Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Let me first say thanks for a great site.  The amount information you can pick up is awesome.  I'm glad to know that you guys are just as dedicated to helping others as you are to the hobby itself. <And we're glad that you enjoy it! We are thrilled to be here for you! Scott F. with you today!> Forgive the simple questions of a novice.  I have just completed cycling my tank and am looking to get an Emerald Crab to supplement the Scarlet Hermits and snails in controlling the algae growth.   <Adding herbivores from the start is a smart plan, and a definite key to helping control excessive algae growth in new systems> I plan to implement a refugium but that won't be for another 2 to 3 months.  I have a small colony of amphipods slowly growing and I want it to grow as big as possible.  My concern is, will the emerald crab munch on those pods? <Well, these crabs are much celebrated for their appetite for nuisance algae, but they are certainly opportunistic omnivores, which can and will eat small fish, and-just maybe amphipods as well. I'd err on the side of caution and be prepared to remove the crab if it reaches to large a size.> Thanks again, I know I'll probably asking more questions in future. Sherwin <My pleasure, Sherwin. Feel free to ask away any time! Regards, Scott F.> You're just jealous...Because the voices are talking to me and not to you!!!

Valonia and Mithrax (3/13/04)   Greetings and a huge thanks to all you in the crew for providing me and others such invaluable guidance, in the year I've been reading the posts daily, my tanks are UNBELIEVABLE!! Everything is growing and thriving at exponential rates. <Good to hear.> Which brings me to my question. I am getting a ton of green bubbles popping up all over the live rock in my 40 gal reef. I know nutrient control is the issue, and I've greatly cut back my feedings, tweaked my Remora for optimal skimming, and do 2 gallon water changes twice a week religiously. I have been hearing more negative than positive comments lately about Mithrax crabs being destructive and difficult at best to remove when larger, so I'm hesitant at putting one (or any crab) in my system. <Wise to be cautious.>   Additionally, it seems to be the general consensus that in trying to remove Valonia (various species) one has to be very careful not to puncture the "bubble" so as to not release spores into the water column. My question is: if I do put a Mithrax crab in, isn't that exactly what they do, puncture the algae, and consume it (if they have a liking for it) so why does it not spread under these circumstances? <Some risk I suppose, but does seem to work for some.> What are your thoughts on just slicing the bubbles open as soon as I see them appear (i.e. real small) with a razor blade? <Vacuuming them off would probably do better. Anthony & Bob's book (Reef Invertebrates) recommends attaching a toothbrush to the end of the siphon. That way you can suck up spores as the bubble bursts. Another option would be to remove rocks that are heavily infested and scrub all the Valonia off in a bucket of saltwater before returning the rock to the tank.> Doing this persistently, would the situation get worse, or better, not allowing any to reach a size greater than 1/8th inch? <I would worry a bit about making it spread more. Your nutrient control approach is vitally important to successfully controlling this algae.> I was thinking doing this, the skimmer and other inhabitants would consume/remove any spores that may get released.. <Will help to some degree.>   Other than that my tank is looking awesome, and in less than 3 months running, the ENTIRE back face of the tank is totally encrusted in what appears to be at least 4 colors of coralline algae, and the fauna is exploding! ((I chose not to add any fish until 6 mo. to a year) <Your patience will be richly rewarded. Keep up the good work. Choose your fish carefully and quarantine them.> Thanks again for all you've done to assist! keep up the good work. Blair <A pleasure. Hope this helps.>

-Decorator arrow crab- Hello I have an interested in getting a Decorator Arrow Crab <Hmmm, I'll assume Camposcia retusa?>, however I have heard they can be troublesome to other animals. <Mainly with sessile inverts that easily become body ornaments.> I have the following in my fish only tanks. 1 Blue Moon Angel 1 Yellow Tang 1 Starcki damsel 4 young Clownfish 2 Emerald crabs 4 Urchins 2 Serpent Stars 1 Orange Starfish about 15 Small Hermits About 20 snails 2 Blood Red Shrimp My tank is a 210 Gallon with 180 lbs of rock. Do you see any problem adding this Crab? <These guys are opportunistic carnivores, but shouldn't seek out and kill fellow tankmates. If what you are referring to is Stenorhynchus seticornis, then there is an added threat to tube worms and it can pick on just about anything. This one is the true arrow crab, but not a decorator. I hope this helps! -Kevin> Thank you for your time. Kurt

Re: Decorator crab Would you also approve my tolerance of a small decorator crab?  True he tears up some polyps and zoos from time to time, but I think that's good for the tank since the polyps and zoos end up getting seeded in other spots, plus the crab is kind of interesting. <You have my endorsement here. Perhaps you will help our species in self-governance one day... and soon I hope. Bob Fenner>

Crab question I've got a question regarding Schizophrys dama (decorator crab). about how many species are in this genus, <this genus of the family Majidae, the Sea Toads, has at least a dozen described species, but several more undescribed as yet... and some majids are not "decorator crabs" per se... and other families contain "decorator" types...> and are they all in the same genus because they 'decorate', or is it for other reasons.  <Other, morphological reasons> I started a 125g reef tank about 5 months ago and am going for a semi regionally accurate system going from the south of the barrier reef to a bit west of Australia (Christmas island). the furthest east ill go is Fiji, and the furthest north ill go is southern Indonesia. <Like the way you put this> anyways, I think the whole idea of decorator crabs is pretty cool and am trying to find out some information about them. are their any species that fit in that region that you can think of? perhaps some or the kind that use anemones as their main defense system? perhaps boxer crabs? any help would be neat <Best way to approach this IMO/E is to select for the animals on the basis of where they were actually collected... Schizophrys are not "reef safe" as the case with most all crabs... Do look into "The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium, volume 3" here... for about the most up-to-date, complete coverage of potential Decapod additions. Sven and Alf's website link can be found on the WWM sites Link Pages.> Jon Trowbridge oh, I've seen some online places that sell anemone decorators and am wondering s they sell the baby anemones on them, do they (anemones) usually end up living? or would I get a bag with a crab and a lot of goo.... <The associated anemones live/ship about as well as their hosts... both generally arrive in good condition. Bob Fenner>

The Price of Getting Crabs Hi guys, back again! I love talking to you people! <we love you too, dear> As you may have guessed from past e-mails, I am in need of many things for my reef tank. New Skimmer, more LR, more sand, etc. But I just realized there is another thing I am lacking in my reef environment, sand sifters, crabs, snails. I remember reading AND hearing that these little inverts are about the most important part of a reef,  next to LR. Is this so? <They are extremely important to the overall health of your sand bed.> I only have about 15 or so snails, nothing else since my wild caught crabs all died. Which also leads me to this question: Can you guys recommend a site where I can purchase on line? I went to many of the links on your web page Rob, but after about 35 minutes of clicking here and there, I decided to just go to the experts! I will say that I went to WWW.GARF.ORG  and they had what appears to be a pretty good deal compare to the $3.99 a piece  price tag at my local shop for crabs, they had a price of about $1.00 a piece for an assortment of crabs and snails. Of course I would hope that these inverts are very healthy and of good size. Can you do better?? <I have heard good things about the detritivore kits from http://www.inlandaquatics.com/   This should inoculate your sand with a nice variety of sand sifting creatures.  -Steven Pro> Let me know what you all think, and thank you very much for your speedy help as always! Pam   

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