Crabs?

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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Ived kept crabs before. Hermit crabs and fiddlers. I always kept them in a group(fiddlers with fiddlers in brackish water, while hermits in a group with land set up).
The longest lasting ones were the fiddlers. lasted two months. I assume they were old. since Ived kept crabs before I know their temperament and activity. I like the activity of the fiddlers. Constantly moving around for a few hours. When I went to puertorico this/last week I went swimming(first time I learnt) so I found the density of the water heavy with salt. I dont know I kept floating? Anywho. To my surprise there were crabs around. Largest one we saw was 7-12inches eye balling it. Their colors blended in with the sand. Also had blue streaks and red streaks on the pincers and blue back legs. I caught a small one(3-4inches) but I let it go. Iam thinking Id like to have a tank for crabs. Does anyone know any long lasting crab that is quite active? I heard about "rainbow crabs" aka patriot crabs aka halloween crabs? Idk But they're supposed to be these large 5-6inch crab that make good pets. Ived seen crabs dubbed halloween crabs in florida walmart o nce. It had a purple top shell and orange arms and red legs?

I was wondering if I could go out to the bay this weekend(tommorrow) and go catch myself a blue crab? If not Id like options?
 

Gnat

Arachnoknight
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you are doing something wrong if you had hermit crabs that lived less than 2 months. they can live up to 30 years or more in captivity and get the size of a softball
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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I have to agree with Gnat, if you've had hermit crabs live less than 2 months you need to go back and check your husbandry and see what you did wrong. looking up and joining any of the numerous hermit crab forums will help with that.

As for keeping blue crabs...it's possible. IF you have a large mature marine aquarium and you do a lot of research on their captive requirements. you will also need to check with whatever state you would be capturing the animal to see what, if any, permits you need to remove it from the wild. you will probably need a fishing license. these are far from small animals, and will require a substantial aquarium, and being the messy eaters they are, will require A LOT of filtration and protien skimming. and large weekly water changes, which can get expensive fast. there are other things to consider but these are what immediately came to mind.

as to other crabs...research. there are quite a few species available in the hobby, some more than others. but you will need to do research to find out which of the species available appeals to you most, and, which species you can reasonably provide for.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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I followed the caresheet that I had found online. I forgot the website since this was around 3-4 years ago. But I knew the diet and care.
I gave it a 20long with 5 hermits. I used sand. I made a second story so they can climb. I remember reading they liked climbing. I gave it the appropriate foods. Which were fruits and veggies, some protein matter(dead frozen fish) and insects(prekilled). I sometimes gave it potato chips(the careguide said its good for them). I think I gave it unsalted crackers with low fat, natural peanut butter. Again most of which all the careguides said was fine for them on occassions. I gave them a large shallow soaking dish with freshwater. Another with salt water. I provided heatlamps, and uvb lamp. I gave them multiple hideouts. Made sure the humidity was constantly high. There was this rule, a dry crab is a sad crab?

One thing I didnt like is that I had to use sand. If the dish toppled over the sand would stink. I even cleaned it often(daily). It stuck to the crabs so I couldnt view them well. They were constantly hiding. I gave them tons of shells.... But they never switched shells. Thats where I got confused. So I provided shells of each and every size.
Ived had fiddler crabs before. I think the reason they died was because they may have been old? I have researched. But all I keep finding is the same:
Hermit crabs
Fiddlers
Red crabs(similar to crab)
Halloween crabs
Moon Crabs.

Thats all I keep finding info on. The rest are purely saltwater crabs which there are alot to choose from. But generally are very small 1inch or so.
I can say I like the fiddlers more because of their constant activity. I only saw the hermits out during nighttime which I kept a light on for an hour or two just to view them. They would move around.
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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you should run a search on vampire crabs. they're fairly terrestrial, only need a small body of freshwater, and do not need any saltwater to breed. they're one of the few crabs with a direct development. the females carry the eggs until they hatch into miniature versions of the adults, and are not released into water as larvae. they're purple and orange, with a bit of black. they need a vivarium with a water bowl as opposed to a mostly aquatic environment. thought you could definitely do some variation of a paludarium. but absolutely no salt what so ever. good luck.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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you should run a search on vampire crabs. they're fairly terrestrial, only need a small body of freshwater, and do not need any saltwater to breed. they're one of the few crabs with a direct development. the females carry the eggs until they hatch into miniature versions of the adults, and are not released into water as larvae. they're purple and orange, with a bit of black. they need a vivarium with a water bowl as opposed to a mostly aquatic environment. thought you could definitely do some variation of a paludarium. but absolutely no salt what so ever. good luck.
I googled them and then youtubed them. They look nice. This guy I think his user is 4tak or something. I dont remember. I liked his palidirium. What I saw I think was shallow water with large rock formations. So like a reef of a sort but not really? Just like overhanging rocks I guess. Like a cliff. It was nice looking. The crab was eating algea off the rocks. To be honest I like crabs like that and fiddlers because they arent fully aquatic. Will venture off onto water but likes to be on land too. I like hermits but for the most part they just sit there. My friend did had some that were active every once in a while. I think he still has them.


Only crabs I seen on stores were hermits, fiddlers, red, halloween crabs(very rare ocassions), saltwater crabs(ussually on specific stores), and once I saw t his fresh water crab that was the size of my fist(literary) it died after a month(in the store cause I asked).
 

spydrhunter1

Arachnolord
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I gave it the appropriate foods. Which were fruits and veggies, some protein matter(dead frozen fish) and insects(prekilled). I sometimes gave it potato chips(the careguide said its good for them). I think I gave it unsalted crackers with low fat, natural peanut butter.
These two items are in no way even acceptable foods. The salt on the potato chips alone is bad enough. We only feed organic foods either fresh (twice a week) or dried organic foods (5 days a week). Some of my guys are over ten years old.
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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I googled them and then youtubed them. They look nice. This guy I think his user is 4tak or something. I dont remember. I liked his palidirium. What I saw I think was shallow water with large rock formations. So like a reef of a sort but not really? Just like overhanging rocks I guess. Like a cliff. It was nice looking. The crab was eating algea off the rocks. To be honest I like crabs like that and fiddlers because they arent fully aquatic. Will venture off onto water but likes to be on land too. I like hermits but for the most part they just sit there. My friend did had some that were active every once in a while. I think he still has them.


Only crabs I seen on stores were hermits, fiddlers, red, halloween crabs(very rare ocassions), saltwater crabs(ussually on specific stores), and once I saw t his fresh water crab that was the size of my fist(literary) it died after a month(in the store cause I asked).
Not like a reef at all. these crabs are found in the rainforests of Sulawesi, near rivers and lakes. they spend a great deal of time on dry land, even routinely climbing trees. some will spend more time in water than others. they don't require a paludarium, but, it wouldn't be terribly hard to do, just keep the body of water on the smaller side. they will also dig burrows. they enjoy a mostly animal based diet, feeder insects, fish foods, frozen fish foods. they are not inexpensive animals, but are at times available on aquabid. I've seen them run from about $18 to $30 per crab. theres some decent information to be had out there.

there are also the entirely aquatic freshwater micro crabs. they breed in freshwater, no or incomplete larval stage. unfortunately they're pretty small, the largest I've ever seen was just a hair smaller than a penny stretched out. they look like tiny spider crabs, that live their entire lives completely in freshwater.

there is also a crab, sadly rarely available, that lives it's entire life in tropical pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes. a crab that makes it's home and gets quite a few of its meals from a carnivorous plant! sweet! but sadly they're rarely available.

there are other freshwater and terrestrial crabs out there so you've got choices, you just have to look hard enough.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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These two items are in no way even acceptable foods. The salt on the potato chips alone is bad enough. We only feed organic foods either fresh (twice a week) or dried organic foods (5 days a week). Some of my guys are over ten years old.
Oh. Thats what the manual said and then I looked online at some website and it said the same. I tried feeding them apples sometime they wouldnt eat em. Krill not even look at them. I had lost faith in keeping them because they just wouldnt eat anything at all.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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Not like a reef at all. these crabs are found in the rainforests of Sulawesi, near rivers and lakes. they spend a great deal of time on dry land, even routinely climbing trees. some will spend more time in water than others. they don't require a paludarium, but, it wouldn't be terribly hard to do, just keep the body of water on the smaller side. they will also dig burrows. they enjoy a mostly animal based diet, feeder insects, fish foods, frozen fish foods. they are not inexpensive animals, but are at times available on aquabid. I've seen them run from about $18 to $30 per crab. theres some decent information to be had out there.

there are also the entirely aquatic freshwater micro crabs. they breed in freshwater, no or incomplete larval stage. unfortunately they're pretty small, the largest I've ever seen was just a hair smaller than a penny stretched out. they look like tiny spider crabs, that live their entire lives completely in freshwater.

there is also a crab, sadly rarely available, that lives it's entire life in tropical pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes. a crab that makes it's home and gets quite a few of its meals from a carnivorous plant! sweet! but sadly they're rarely available.

there are other freshwater and terrestrial crabs out there so you've got choices, you just have to look hard enough.
Id like to get one that gets to be atleast 3inches in body length. But I havent had any success finding anything. I like the ones that go into the water frequently but also use land. You know like fiddlers. But since fiddlers have a short lifespan(2-3 years) then I dont want to go for them again.
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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Most crabs, especially the larger ones, tend to be very territorial, and aggressive, a lot of them are shipped in individual covered soap dishes because they're well known to kill each other. check out franksaquarium.com, they carry a lot of hard to find fish and freshwater inverts. some of the smaller crabs, like vampire crabs, have extremely interesting behavior and are more active than a lot of larger crabs in my experience.

a very interesting paludarium set-up could include indian mudskippers and common red crabs. theres a link to a mud skipper set up on franks web site. and googling should get you a ton more results for inspiration.

one last thing to remember is that these animals are almost always brought in as adults making it impossible to know how old they are, and a lot will be the largest possible adults which can mean some of them are very old. aside from vampire crabs you will not find captive bred animals, and even with vampire crabs captive bred animals are rarely offered.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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Most crabs, especially the larger ones, tend to be very territorial, and aggressive, a lot of them are shipped in individual covered soap dishes because they're well known to kill each other. check out franksaquarium.com, they carry a lot of hard to find fish and freshwater inverts. some of the smaller crabs, like vampire crabs, have extremely interesting behavior and are more active than a lot of larger crabs in my experience.

a very interesting paludarium set-up could include indian mudskippers and common red crabs. theres a link to a mud skipper set up on franks web site. and googling should get you a ton more results for inspiration.

one last thing to remember is that these animals are almost always brought in as adults making it impossible to know how old they are, and a lot will be the largest possible adults which can mean some of them are very old. aside from vampire crabs you will not find captive bred animals, and even with vampire crabs captive bred animals are rarely offered.
I looked at the site. Only wo types of crabs were sold there. "Micro" crabs and "rusty" crabs. I like the rusty they look a little larger. I might just go for smaller crabs as long as they're not less than 2inches in length(I have poor vision) and live past 5 years. I like hermit crabs but t hey rarely moved. I dont know if they are an active species? As for mud skippers Iam actually giving them a thought too... But I keep hearing how they are extremely hard to keep alive and how they need HUGE enclosures because they MUST be in large groups. As for alot of animals there arent many good sites with good solid information. So yeah. Also I like crabs more than otherr aquatic animals(except turtles).

I just want something that lives a little long and isnt a pain to feed. I like palidiriums to be honest more than aquariums or terrariums.
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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Franks only has 2 available at the moment, his stock varies and changes often, he keeps up with updating the site on a fairly frequent basis.

5 years is a long time to expect any wild caught animal to make. it will happen, but in my experience even with excellent care crabs are not long lived animals, except for hermit crabs. I find a lot of pet stores don't care for their hermit crabs properly, if those crabs sit in their care for any signifigant length of time there is a good chance their life span has been cut short. the remedy for that is to either hunt around locally or find a hermit crab forum and see who they recommend. if provided for properly and obtained from a reliable source hermits are a pet you can enjoy for a very long time.

and thought they aren't crabs they are very very cool...Macrobrachium sp. shrimp. also called long armed shrimp. a few of a the smaller species are relatively peaceful among themselves, some it's one male and a couple of females, some it's one per tank. they range from around an inch to upwards of 18 inches including claws. almost all are predatory, some of the smaller are either peaceful or peaceful enough to be housed with fish. most do well in river style tanks, and this can lend itself to amazing paludariums. petshrimp.com would be a major resource for aquatic invert research.

the more research you do into aquatic inverts the more you'll see whats really available. theres a lot out there to be had if you look. and aquabid has a huge freshwater invert auction section.

as to mudskippers, it's been at least a decade and a half since I've worked with them. but from what I remember they were no more difficult to keep than any of the crabs you're looking to keep. they are social animals for the most part, but that doesn't mean they require a large number of animals to form a social group. 3 or 4 in a 40 gallon breeder or larger with a good filter and sufficient haul out areas would probably give you enough space to scape it nicely, and them enough space to get around with a large enough volume of water. ease of keeping also depends on whether you're dealing with a freshwater, saltwater, or brackish water species. I do remember it being hilarious to watch them catch crickets and other prey.

paludariums are nice, they can be tricky to set up, but they are nice. so are ripariums. ripariums generally mimic the very edge of a stream river or pond. semi aquatic plants are grown hydroponically, and suspended in the water, while true aquatics grow underwater. it's a newer and interesting concept, worth looking into.
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
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Skippers aren't difficult to keep at all. I've found them to be quite the opposite.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v75/nikipike/Mudskipper/

I highly recommend getting Indian mudskippers. They stay around 4" & are much more peaceful then other species. Right now I have 3 in a 10gal with no problems. I have a "pond" for them & sand banked for them to burrow into along with a mat heater (they have to have a covered one if put inside or a mat on the outside because they will climb & jump on things.) At one point I did have the tank as half water, half sand, & they did fine with that also.

Whenever my mother goes back to VA, she's grabbing my sister's old 55gal snake tank. Then they are getting upgraded to that with new substrate (not sure what i'm using yet, have been researching different combos) & mangroves. I want to provide a better habitat for them to burrow in. Plus I plan on getting several more skippers.

The setup they are in now I believe is pretty simple & the minimum they need to survive. I'm only bigger & better for my own personal desire :D
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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Skippers aren't difficult to keep at all. I've found them to be quite the opposite.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v75/nikipike/Mudskipper/

I highly recommend getting Indian mudskippers. They stay around 4" & are much more peaceful then other species. Right now I have 3 in a 10gal with no problems. I have a "pond" for them & sand banked for them to burrow into along with a mat heater (they have to have a covered one if put inside or a mat on the outside because they will climb & jump on things.) At one point I did have the tank as half water, half sand, & they did fine with that also.

Whenever my mother goes back to VA, she's grabbing my sister's old 55gal snake tank. Then they are getting upgraded to that with new substrate (not sure what i'm using yet, have been researching different combos) & mangroves. I want to provide a better habitat for them to burrow in. Plus I plan on getting several more skippers.

The setup they are in now I believe is pretty simple & the minimum they need to survive. I'm only bigger & better for my own personal desire :D
This is going to sound stupid. But I was wondering since skippers and fiddlers are ussually around each other. Is it possible to safely house both together? If nots I wont try it. But I always wondered about it. By the way what is the natural lifespan of a fiddler? I always hear "2years at most" but I wonder if this is to be true.
 

NikiP

Arachnobaron
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Fiddlers are one of the recommended species of crabs to keep with skippers. You just have to be careful though. There are species of mudskippers that get quite large & they will eat crabs. Which is why I recommended the Indians, smaller species.

I'd love to have a West African skipper at some point. They reach about 10", one of the species that I believe will eat a crab.
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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I'm gonna have to say, regardless of being recommended, crabs can be voracious. so it would require careful observation. the other problem I see is the size of the enclosure and providing as many places to escape to, and hide in/on/around/under. what size tank do you intend to use? also how do you intend to measure the salinity/specific gravity of the tank? crabs are adept at escaping so you'd need to make sure anywhere filters, or filter intake/outlet tubes sit will be sealable. you're now looking at keeping 2 species in one enclosure. how big are you really willing to go? both animals are relatively active. both animals require access to land and water. because of the set up required you're already cutting down on the available space in either habitat. this will also be a concern. if you're willing to go big enough, AWESOME! I want pics and updates as often as possible. if you can't afford the space, or monetary output, stick to a single species, but still keep us updated. I'm all about multi-species enclosures if researched and set up properly. I've always dreamed of a large multi-species mangrove tidal flat aquarium...but giving up a 6 x 2 patch of floor space isn't gonna happen anytime soon. at least not with other more desired set ups already in the works. it just takes the space and a lot of research, and a close eye for anything potentially bad.
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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I'd look into the Cardisoma species if you want something large.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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I'm gonna have to say, regardless of being recommended, crabs can be voracious. so it would require careful observation. the other problem I see is the size of the enclosure and providing as many places to escape to, and hide in/on/around/under. what size tank do you intend to use? also how do you intend to measure the salinity/specific gravity of the tank? crabs are adept at escaping so you'd need to make sure anywhere filters, or filter intake/outlet tubes sit will be sealable. you're now looking at keeping 2 species in one enclosure. how big are you really willing to go? both animals are relatively active. both animals require access to land and water. because of the set up required you're already cutting down on the available space in either habitat. this will also be a concern. if you're willing to go big enough, AWESOME! I want pics and updates as often as possible. if you can't afford the space, or monetary output, stick to a single species, but still keep us updated. I'm all about multi-species enclosures if researched and set up properly. I've always dreamed of a large multi-species mangrove tidal flat aquarium...but giving up a 6 x 2 patch of floor space isn't gonna happen anytime soon. at least not with other more desired set ups already in the works. it just takes the space and a lot of research, and a close eye for anything potentially bad.
Well expenses arent that big because I just acquired a 30 gallon tank. Its 36inches longx12inches wide x 12/18inches tall. I also got a fluval 305 and a fluval heater.
Also if in this tank I cant keep both species then that would be okay. I just wanted something that lived long and was fairly active.
 

SandDeku

Arachnobaron
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I'd look into the Cardisoma species if you want something large.
Well its not large what Iam looking for. Its just something thats like medium sized? Like 3-5inches? Thats big enough for me. I love those crabs that have these back legs that are round. In puertorico we calll them "hueyes", like if you look at the back legs of a blue crab thats what Iam talking about. I love those little legs. I dont know what they use em for but I find them adorable. Also they tend to have nice colors. Like shades of blue mixed with red and then brown. But in any case ID rather have something thats active and lives long(5-10years).
 
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