Horseshoe Crabs

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Thermonectus

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Howdy howdy.

I recently started working for a professor in the Zoology department of my University caring for inverts that she uses in her classes. It's a blast, since I basically get to set up aquariums and play with crayfish, jellyfish, snails, etc the whole time.

She has 6 horseshoe crabs that she got about 3 years ago, and they're getting too big for their current living quarters (a rubbermaid box filled with sand...). Does anyone know anything about space requirements for them? Or for that matter, has anyone raised them before? Any information you could point me to or give me would be great!

They've lived this long, so they must be pretty hardy, but I'd like to give them a nice place for the future.

Thanks!
 

Stang Man

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They do reach to about 8- 12 inches in the wild but in contained aquariums will get up to 6-8 inches. The thing about horseshoe crabs is they need alot of space and alot of open area to roam in. I would suggest getting an aquarium for them not a tub. All you need is a good skimmer and a sump or a canister filter. A good tank if you cannot do an aquarium is to build a box using 2x 6 wood to build frame and using an EPDM linear about 12 inches deep or more. Will also need some light but not bright lighting. Use Live rock with a power head or a propellar type pump.I need more info on what you trying to do? Can you give me more details? That would help alot!!!!!
 
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Thermonectus

Thermonectus

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Thanks! We found a very large unused aquarium in the basement of the building (think Citizen Kane... tons of crazy stuff down there!) that we'll be using to house them, so I think they'll have enough space. Well, I hope they'll have enough space, because we don't have anything bigger!

What I'm trying to do is to give them a good place to live. They won't really be on display or anything, so it can be pretty bare-bones, but I want them to be happy. Will ambient light from the room be good enough for them? They'll be in a room that has fluorescent overhead lights on a timer, so it'll simulate daylight. And how deep should the sand be for them? I notice that they spend most of their time burrowed underneath it.

And is there anything they need/like? There will definitely be adequate filtration, but do they like a certain water temperature? Rocks? Other inverts?

Thanks so much for your help!
 

Stang Man

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They do not like bright lighting.Sand bed at least 6 inches they like to bury them selves.Feed them fish such as silversides or anything meaty for them.Water temps around 78-82 is fine. And get some live rock first cure the rock then add never put in any live rock till all nitrogen cycles are complete.
 

LittleT

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Do we have any pics of the great horseshoe crabs yet. I'm really interested as we have one and he shed a couple of weeks ago which means he got bigger. It was amazing to watch.
 
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