Pom Pom Crabs (Freshwater)

Isovien

HI all

I've seen some questions about the freshwater crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) that Aquatic Arts is selling.

Here's the link to it:

I'm excited to offer some info as I just bought my first one! Okay, it's my second because the first was DOA. They call this a "pom pom" crab, but don't confuse it with the saltwater pom pom crab (Lybia sp.) (also called the Boxing Crab) This is a freshwater, supposedly fully-aquatic crab like the ThaI Micro Crabs. He is larger, his shell is about 1cm across and his full body, with his legs extended, is maybe 1 inch in diameter.



One poster said there is very little info on this crab online and I agree. Might make it a risky purchase, but crabs are pretty much my totem animal, so I had to get one!

I went with their standard shipping for the first crab ($9.95 on amazon.com) because I figured it would be okay. I work from home so I knew he wouldn't sit outside in the heat at all, plus my mail gets delivered hella early in the morning.

Sadly, it did not work out for the little guy. I emailed Aquatic Arts that day and they got back to me the next. They have a "Live arrival guarantee" so they were willing to ship me another crab. This time I paid the difference for overnight air mail. Through their site, that cost was only $23. (so I paid the $14 diff.)

I'm glad I did, as he arrived alive this time! (I live in Saltwater FL, where it is very hot). He shipped late-afternoon on the next possible business day and arrived before 10am the day after that.

He comes in a little bag with a small amount of water, so be warned that if you use the floating bag method normally (like I tend to) that's not possible here. You'll have to use the drip method to acclimatize him. Also note: he tried to climb out of my short-sided bowl during acclimatization! So keep an eye on him, use a tall container, or cover the bowl you're using.

I put him in my cycled 5 gallon tank with dark substrate, java moss, driftwood, live plants and plenty of hiding places, (including a coconut hut I made myself ) This tank also houses my 4 dwarf Red Cherry Shrimp. This species of crab will not bother shrimp at all; the crab's mouth and claws are just too tiny.

Here's a quick youtube video I took with my phone when he started eating lunch off of the moss ball:



He also went to town eating plenty of food when I introduced the shrimps' meal of crushed HikarI Crab Cuisine and Algae tab. I've had him 6 hours now, and I'd say he is doing well, since he ate and has set himself up in the slate/stone house I made for him.



I'll give you another update soon!

-Isovien
 

Fettuccini

Is that the same thing as those vampire crabs?
 

Isovien

Nope! That seems to be a different genus altogether, and a little smaller. (Not to mention the bright purple color the vampire crabs have)

-Iso
 

Fettuccini

Ok, so I looked at that link to the pom pom crabs and they were $10, now 5 minutes later they're $15.
 

Isovien

Hmm. I've only seen them in the range of $15, so I'm not sure what happened!
 

Fettuccini

Oh well. They seem like cool little guys, I'd probably get some if I had a tank without anything that would try to kill them. I guess I could put some in my 20g, but even kribs do grow up eventually.
 

Isovien

I'm not an expert on cichlids, but I did have an African Jewel Cichlid once, and he would eat anything that he possibly could. When fish or snails wouldn't fit in his mouth, he'd pick at their fins or fleshy parts instead. I imagine these guys would look like a snack in a cichlid tank ;-)
 

Pringlethesnail

Omg I need one!!
 

HappiestCamper

I'm ordering mine next month and will always be chronicling my expirence maybe we will be able to learn from eachother

I'm going to try shrimp and some sort of nano fish with mine, but I do have my back up plans just in case!
 

Lentini

I received mine today. Plopped him in the 20G tank... He started eating off a Marimo ball right away. I have him with guppies, neon tetras, a gourami, Cory cats, dwarf shrimps, and glowfish tetras. The Gourami took a couple half-hearted stabs at tasting him, but he was fast. He is active... Took over the plant where the shrimps were hiding out. They are scared of him and found a new plant. The Pom Pom crab is very cool.

New member. Hello all.
 

Isovien

Welcome Lentini! And so excited to hear that you're getting a pom pom crab too, HappiestCamper

I agree, we should keep crabby notes

My dwarf shrimp have no issues with my crab, which is nice. They flit around the tank same as always, they'll even perch on the coconut hut or slate stone hut when Crabby is hiding in there.

I haven't, though, seen them eating in the food bowl at the same time as the crab. When he's hungry, the crab is the first one into the bowl. Otherwise he'll ignore it that day. The shrimp come and go.

Here's my pom pom crab chilling on his coconut hut. He enjoys the java moss.
 

Lentini

My first video post. Hope it works. My crab running around. He spends a little time digging in gravel for food, a little time looking to escape, and digs in to sleep.

A few pics:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
 

Isovien

Great video! He looks very active Mine likes to sneak around, but he's busy. I have that tank on my desk where I work and every time I glance at it, he's in another spot.

I admit, I love watching him eat, I think it's adorable. And yes, my non-aquarium friends think I'm insane. ;-)

-Isovien
 

Pringlethesnail

Has anyone tried keeping them with a cpo? Or have any idea if it would work?
 

Kerina

How are your crabs doing?
 

fishboy2

Has anyone tried keeping them with a cpo? Or have any idea if it would work?
I've kept mine in a 10 gal. with two dwarf crayfish and there haven't been any major problems. They sometimes get into a brief fight but there's been no injuries. The largest issue is probably that the crayfish sometimes steal the crabs food.
 

Isovien

HI peeps,


So I adored my pom pom crab while he lasted, he did not last super long. He was in a planted tank and I didn't see any problem with him and the plants, he climbed some but never tore any out at all. He did LOVE to hide, digging in the substrate, hiding in his hut, hiding in the java moss.... But he was great in my 5 gallon dwarf shrimp tank, no problem between him and the shrimp.


The bad news.... he was a CRAZY climber! I saw someone on amazon mention that hers kept climbing out, and I had the same issue. I have a pretty tightly covered aquarium, and the intake on the HOB has a foam block on it (to avoid sucking up shrimplets). After about a week in the tank, I did a water change and he was MIA. I was about to count him as a loss when I noticed he had somehow climbed INTO the filter intake tube! What a rascal!

View media item 234047
I got him out of there and back into the tank. He ran a few full laps of the tank, and then within 5 minutes he had managed to crawl his way up the intake tube by wedging himself between the tube and the glass wall. No WAY he was staying in the tank. (be busted one of his front claws off in the attempt =/ )

View media item 234046
So I transferred him to my planted 20 gallon high, and he did fine in there with the fish. He liked to hide under the moss balls. One morning I woke up to find that in the middle of the night, with only 1 big claw arm, he had climbed the plants, onto the rock structure, and climbed to the very top. He sat there like he was the boss. He did not escape that tank, but he died a week or two later. I think it might have been failure to molt, as all water and tank parameters where on the mark.

View media item 234048
So, no more pom pom crabs for me, but I miss him! He was so fun to watch when he was eating.

-Isovien
 

Leann

HI all!
Considering a 5 gallon fluval tank for crabs, I've always loved them but have never felt safe putting them with fish.
If I went through with the 5 gal I'd really want full aquatic crabs and the Pom Pom crab seems like a character!! ThaI micro crabs really catch my eye but I've been reading about how much they disappear. Anyway, how many would you suggest for this tank and would they like sand over rock?
 

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