Zebra Hermit Crab Ate Another Crab. Is This Normal?

CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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I just had 5 zebra hermit crabs. 2 of them molted recently. Today, I just bought some shells for them, but they didn't seem interested. Just earlier, one of the crabs ate another hermit crab! I am super angry and heartbroken! Now I have only 4! I also didn't feed the tank today to avoid any issues with water parameters (I have a 10 gallon). Is this normal for them to eat each other? Is there a solution?
 

aussieJJDude

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Its common. Crabs are cannibalistic by nature. Ensuring they have a balanced diet full of meaty foods will help curb the tendency to prey on eachother!
 

Jesterrace

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Hermits will pick off other hermits and skipping a day of feeding likely isn't helping in a tank that small. You are going to lose inverts with hermits around. It's simply a fact of the hobby.
 

Jesterrace

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Good idea in a tank that small it would definitely affect ammonia and nitrate levels once it started to rot. Even in my 36 gallon, I had a tiny hermit die (about 1/2 inch in size) and it got wedged in my rockwork and was very difficult to remove. I just left it there hoping another crab would eat it, but it never happened and about a week later I started showing small amounts of nitrites on my test. I tried changing a few things out (ie partial water change, filters, etc) but to no avail. I finally determined that it was the crab and managed to get it out with a pair of tweezers. Tested the tank the following day and the nitrites were back to zero. So even in a tank more than 3x the volume of your 10 gallon tank, a tiny little hermit can cause issues.
 

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