Crabs and snails

Marsh980

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HI all,

My LFS owner keeps putting me off hermit crabs saying they’re not worth the hassle especially if you have snails. They will just kill your snails as they need to continuously seek new and larger shells or when they get very large could knock your corals off the rock and need replacing. Of course I could buy spare shells but are they really worth it.

He did say however there is a species of hermit crab that never change their shell but I can’t remember what he called them. I’ll ask him next time I see him.

I would like some crabs as I think they would bring another dimension to the viewing experience of my reef aquarium plus variety to the CUC but I wanted to guage other people’s experiences of them before I take the plunge. You read so many differing views it is hard to work out what’s right as everyone’s experience is different.

For example, some say never buy the large red legged hermits, others say don’t buy the blue legged hermits etc.

One last thing, my son really would like a few crabs in the reef as he loves them and finds them fascinating to watch.

Cheers
 

Lchi87

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HI there,

You've already hit the nail on the head with this! You will always get differing views and it's really up to you whether you think its worth it. From my own experience, my hermits leave my snails alone but I also give them plenty of shell options in the event they want a new shell. I don't honestly see them change all that much but occasionally I'll catch sight of one trying on a new outfit :p My frags are sometimes knocked off the rock but honestly, I do more of that than the crabs lol.

In terms of crabs, the only other crab I have ever kept were emeralds as part of a CUC. Quite a few people will say that they have gone rouge and gone after fish and corals but I have so far not seen that behavior from mine. Anecdotally, females tend to be more well behaved.

Hope that helps somewhat!
 
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Marsh980

Marsh980

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Hi,

Thank you for your response, What hermit crabs have you gone for?

I do like the look of emerald crabs but were warned they can get big and could eat your fish.. That would be an expensive meal....
 

Lchi87

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Marsh980 said:
Hi,

Thank you for your response, What hermit crabs have you gone for?

I do like the look of emerald crabs but were warned they can get big and could eat your fish.. That would be an expensive meal....
I've had a few different kinds. I prefer the scarlet hermits as they stay smallest but the electric blue hermits are quite pretty as well. I hear ya on the emerald concerns. I have a rather beefy one in my nano but so far he's been a model citizen. I would expect them to go after weak/sick fish so that would be the only time I'd be worried about him. He doesn't seem like he is fast enough to actually chase down an active, healthy fish.
 

saltwater60

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I have had many various crabs through out my years of reef keeping. I’ve had blue hermits and never had an issue. I also had emerald crabs without issue as well.
My favorite was a bullseye pistol shrimp and yasha hasha shrimp goby pair. I know not technically a crab but would your son know or care the difference?

I’ve also had Pom Pom crabs without issues.
 
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Marsh980

Marsh980

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Cheers guys

I may just have to ignore my LFS advice and grab some scarlet and blue legged hermits and keep some empty shells around. They're an important part of the CUC and add a different viewing experience to just snails.

I'll do some research into the emerald and pom pom crabs to ensure my reef is suitable for them.

I'm definitely getting the shrimp/goby pair in the future, I can't miss that. However, it'll depend on where they set up their burrow as the problem with having a 200 gallon with so much live rock and space is that they could just disappear. I've not seen the diamond watchman goby since I put it in the tank on Saturday afternoon. Hopefully in time when its gets used to the tank it'll show itself lol
 

saltwater60

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Maybe I was lucky but my shrimp goby pair set up front and center.
I’d think they set up where the flow comes in since it will drag some food into the burrow. If they set up a place you don’t like try blocking it with a rock and feed them where you want them to settle in. Nothing for sure but I’d think that factors into where they set up home.
 
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Marsh980

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I might have to try that if they decide to hide out back. The first 5 days the clown fish pair literally hid at the very back and could only be seen through a small tunnel in the rock formation. Thankfully since then they spend all day and evening at the front swimming the whole length of the tank.

Just need the Watchman goby to show himself, we've spent days trying to find him without success.
 

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