My Hermit Crab Colony!**lots of pics**

starmaiden

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I'm not sure this is the right category, because they are still w/o a spine and belong to the phylum arthropoda...but...Besides Ts, my main thing is hermit crabs! ;P I have about 50 in 6 different tanks. Of the 6 species available in the U.S., I've currently got 4 species. Many are adopted from other people and/or rescues.

The most common Species available in the U.S., C. Clypeatus, from S. Florida and the Caribbean:

Tiny Male:


Tiny's not so Tiny is he?


Lucky, Male:


Blue, Female:


Some of my C. Compresses, which are from S. America:

MaryAnn, Female:


Symie, Male:


Waldo, Male:


A few of my C. rugosus, which are from the S. Pacific and come in many different colors:
Palau, Male:


Lanka, Male:


Fala, Female:


Fiji, Male:


Andaman, Male:


And lastly, some of my C. perlatus, from the S. Pacific and N. Australia:

Clemetine, Female, saying "Hello Down there!" from the second level:


Another picture of Clementine with Ryukyu, a female C. rugosus:


And Redlinger, Male:


Not a crab but sometimes crabby...My Zoo Director Dax, Male Kitty:
 

Dumaw

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awesome Hermits! I love this crabs too I wish I had one

congrats they look great
 

Arachnophilist

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very nice coloration on some of those! what do you feed them? and do they have any water requirements for their tank?
 

starmaiden

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very nice coloration on some of those! what do you feed them? and do they have any water requirements for their tank?
Thanks! Hermit crabs by nature are scavangers, so they will eat both plant and animal materials. The commercial crab foods that pet stores sell usually contain preservatives that are also used as pesticides. And since crabs are closely related to insects, I stay away from those!

The natural diet of the C. rugosus in the wild is algae and tortoise poo. While I can't really provide the tortoise poo, I do try to provide a daily algae source for them. Most people have trouble with their C. rugosus losing color, but my ruggies are doing great!

Some of what I feed: Fresh chicken, fish, scrambled eggs, shrimp, freeze dried crickets and mealworms, unsalted nuts, unsalted peanut butter, lettuce, mango, papaya, coconut, pineapple, honey, banana, spirulina, seaweed, blueberry, strawberry, rasperry, oak bark, oak leaves, mangrove root, corn, carrots, all kinds of organic flowers. It's fun to cook for my crabs and to figure out which foods are their favorite!

They do have specific water requirements for in their tanks, especially the C. perlatus and C. compressus. They need a dechlorinated fresh water source and a ocean water source deep enough so that they can fully submerge. I use bottled spring water and Oceanic brand salt water aquarium mix. Unlike Ts, distilled water is not good for them because they get a lot of their minerals from water.
 

Arachnophilist

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wow! I must say I am impressed at the extent to which you are going to provide a good life for these things! :clap: :clap: good for you. great collection. thanks for takin the time to explain it for me.

Chris
 

starmaiden

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You're welcome! They make fascinating pets. It is unfortunate they can't be bred in captivity bc i would certainly be doing it!

In this country, they are usually marketed towards children, which is unfortunate because they are not really a suitible pet for a child. They are very fragile and die easily from overhandling, their proper tank requirements are very expensive to set up and difficult for a child to monitor. Most species are also nocturnal, so they are active after the child has gone to bed. And they disappear for weeks to months at a time under the substrate to molt! But if given the right conditions, they can live for 20 to 30 years in captivity.
 

HerpCenter

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I love the coloration of the shell in the 5th picture. When your crab decides he wants to move, contact me and send me that shell. lol ;)
 

Mushroom Spore

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Wow! I always heard thats what was recommended! :? Should I be using spring water for the Ts also?
I use tapwater, personally. If your tapwater is gross and you don't have a faucet filter or filter-pitcher, gallon jugs of regular drinking water should last you ages and ages.
 

AneesasMuse

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Awww... Symie and Clementine are my favorites!! Redlinger is gorgeous! The cat ain't bad either {D ...just don't tell Aneesa I gave another kitty any compliments or she'll ban me from the pooter. :p
 

Alice

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wow, i've never seen hermit crabs that attractive. pity they are so hard to maintain, i don't have the time to cook for my pets ;).
 

spydrhunter1

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Don't use tap water with hermit crabs, the chlorines will burn the gills of the hermit crabs. I make my own de-chlorinated water using the material sold for conditioning aquarium water. Buy the type the uses 1 drop of product/per gallon of water. Hermits are great...some of mine must be close to 10 years old now. I have a colony of 22 crabs.
 

Alice

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uh, another question: why do they not reproduce in capticity (someone mentined that above)?
 

spydrhunter1

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After the female mates she must release eggs into the ocean, where they live for awhile in the plankton.
 

starmaiden

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Don't use tap water with hermit crabs, the chlorines will burn the gills of the hermit crabs. I make my own de-chlorinated water using the material sold for conditioning aquarium water. Buy the type the uses 1 drop of product/per gallon of water. Hermits are great...some of mine must be close to 10 years old now. I have a colony of 22 crabs.
That's great spydrhunter! And I use spring water for their drinking water. It's dechlorinated and has more minerals than just dechlorinated tap water.

Alice, they can't reproduce in captivity because no one has been able to get the zoa (sp?) to survive past the free floating plankton stage to the point where they take a shell and come to land. Marine hermit crabs have successfully been bred in captivity, but not land hermit crabs. Although many people are trying! It's very very difficult to get the females gravid in the first place and then to get the eggs and the baby crabs past the ocean plankton stage.
 

Tim Benzedrine

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I've had one for around 6 years. I had two, but one went thru a moult lat year and it appeared that the other took advantage of the moulter's vulnerability. I found it torn to pieces.:( The perpetrator is currently in it's own moult period right now.

It would be great if somebody succeeded in captive breeding, because every one that is sold (probably in the tens of thousands) has been harvested from the wild. And I imagine like any other wild-caught specimens, there is a limit as to how many can be taken before there is an impact on the population.
 

fantasticp

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The natural diet of the C. rugosus in the wild is algae and tortoise poo. While I can't really provide the tortoise poo,
If you really want tortoise poo, I know a turtle/tortoise nut. He will likely laugh at you but I bet he would sell you some. I suppose you could freeze it until use. What kind of tortoise does it have to come from?
 
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