Updated May 14, 2020
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
There are a lot of different types of Hermit Crabs available but some are better than others in a marine aquarium. If you are looking for something to add to your clean up crew, check out the blue-legged and red-legged varieties. They will scavenge all over your live rock and sand substrate looking for algae and detritus.
It has been reported that the red leg hermit will eat cyanobacteria, which is red slime algae. If you have a relatively new tank you may want to supplement their diet with dried seaweed to prevent them from starving. You will also want to get some extra shells of different sizes for them to move in to as they grow.
Take a little more time when acclimating this crab to your tank water to prevent pH shock. As with other invertebrates, use extreme caution when using medicine in a tank with hermits. You risk wiping them out if you do use medicines, especially those that contain copper.
Hermit Crab Care Details
Scientific Name : Clibanarius spp.
Common Names : Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab
Care Level : Easy, good for saltwater beginners but take an hour or more and use a slow drip acclimation to get them used to your tank's water parameters. Don't be alarmed if you find that your hermit crab is molting.
Life span : 2 - 4 years, maybe longer
Size : Up to 1 inch (3 cm)
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 72°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.022 - 1.025
Origin / Habitat : Mexico, the Caribbean
Temperament / Behavior : Very peaceful
Breeding : Difficult to breed them
Aquarium Size : 10 gallon minimum
Tank Mates : Even though they do have a protective shell, caution is advised if you plan on keeping them with some of the more aggressive marine invertebrates.
Food - Diet : They will usually scavenge all over live rock and the sand substrate looking for algae and cyanobacteria (red slime algae). If you don't have enough algae in your tank give them dried seaweed.
Tank Region : Mostly found on, in or around your live rock.
Gender : There are no definite ways to distinguish males from females.
Site References :
More Saltwater Invertebrate Profiles
Tiger Striped Brittle Star
The Brittle Stars are generally pretty good tank mates in saltwater aquariums, including reef tanks. They should just scavenge the sand and rock while leaving the fish, corals and other invertebrates alone.
Chocolate Chip Starfish
This starfish will eat other invertebrates in the tank, including soft corals such as xenia. Would only do well in fish only type tanks with no invertebrates.
Coral Banded Shrimp
Best to keep only one per tank as they may fight other coral banded shrimps. They may also go after other shrimp species, although we've kept them in tanks with other saltwater shrimp species and have had no problems.