Question Red Claw Crab - Molted

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New Member
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5 to 10 years
Hello! Though I have long experience with fish, I am a novice when it comes to red claw crabs. The cutest little things!

I awoke this morning to what I thought was a dead crab. I removed the dead body and went to begin cleaning the tank to find both happy crabs still alive. I realized he hadn't died, but molted!

I am curious, though, the molted crab has lost both of his claws. Is this normal? Will he grow these back?

Also, when I purchased the crab, he was missing a leg. Do you think it will grow back now that he has molted?


Valued Member
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Pittsburgh PA
More than 10 years
Hi theresa, welcome to Fishlore!

Crabs can regrow lost appendages during a molt, so the leg should come back eventually. However, the fact that he lost both claws during this molt means he had some trouble molting successfully and you may very well find a dead crab next time. Usually lost claws are a result of calcium deficiency, so I would make sure you have a source of calcium and other trace elements to make sure he makes it through the next molt. With the old exoskeleton removed, he can't eat it to regain essential nutrients, so you'll want to be especially careful to provide them in other ways.

I use crushed coral as my substrate which raises the pH and allows plenty of dissolved minerals including calcium. There are also calcium additives that can be used, but I've never tried them so can't vouch for their effectiveness. With any luck he should have a successful molt next time and regrow his leg and claws eventually.
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