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Sponge Crab

(Dromia erythropus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Diet: Carnivore   • Aquarium Level: Substrate & Rocks   • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
 • Reef Compatible: Yes   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Supplements: Calcium, Iodine, Trace elements   • Coloration: Brown, Tan, Orange
• Origin: Indo-Pacific • Family: Dromiidae   • Species: Crabs

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Sponge Crab native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Sponge Crab, which is also known as a Decorator Crab, is an interesting crustacean in that it carries a sponge upon its back for camouflage. Carrying a sponge on their backs makes these crabs look somewhat comical, but it is an effective form of protection for them. They have small front pinchers that they use for feeding and to fend off attackers.

They are best suited for a reef aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding and food. They generally do most of their scavenging at night and will spend most of the day in caves or crevices within the reef.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Sponge Crab in the home aquarium.

Being mostly nocturnal the Sponge Crab will need plenty of reef work or aquascaping to provide it with caves and dark crevices in which to spend its days. While Sponge Crabs typically have sponges affixed to their backs, they will sometimes harvest tunicates or even coral polyps for camouflage.

By doing this they may cause harm to some soft or polyp corals, but this usually helps propagate these corals throughout the aquarium, more than it does harm to them. This species as with all crustacean species should not be kept with species that will eat crustaceans, such as Triggerfish.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Sponge Crab.

As with most all crabs, the Sponge Crab is a scavenger that will eat most any meaty food. The diet of the Sponge Crab should include meaty foods such as frozen brine or mysis shrimp, mussels or pieces of fish. This species will also eat any foods that get by the fish in the aquarium, making them good for keeping the aquarium free of excess and decaying food stuffs.

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