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Sponge Crab
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(Dromia erythropus) Easy Semi-Aggressive 4" Carnivore Substrate & Rocks 30 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Brown, Tan, Orange Dromiidae Crabs 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. 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. 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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Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab
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(Paguristes cadenati) Easy Peaceful 2" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Red, Yellow Indo-Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean Diogenidae Crabs The Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab, sometimes called the Red Reef Hermit Crab or Red Legged Hermit Crab, has red legs and a yellow face and its shell if often covered in coralline algae. The Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab is often found in the wild along the reef faces and coral rubble of the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. It scavenges animal matter and algae, but only grows to approximately 1-1/2 inches in length. The Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab is very popular in the marine aquarium hobby as an aquarium cleaner, and can be found in reef aquariums and community fish aquariums with plenty of live rock. The Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab is best kept in a reef-style aquarium where it will have adequate supplies of algae which to eat. The Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab is helpful in keeping algae under control, including filamentous algae and Cyanobacteria. For this reason, the Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab is often recommended as a member of any aquarium cleaning crew. While this species will supplement its diet with meaty foods, its primary source of food is marine algae. Therefore, it is best to keep this species in an established reef tank or an established community fish aquarium with plenty of live rock. Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs are primarily scavengers and tank cleaners, where they will eat most forms or algae and any leftover meaty foods that make it to the reef or substrate. If there is insufficient algae to eat, their diet must be supplemented with dried seaweed. Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs will also accept many other types of meaty foods; such as, frozen, flake, freeze-dried or other forms of meaty preparations.
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Sally Lightfoot Crab
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(Percnon gibbesi) Easy Semi-Aggressive 4" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Brown, Orange, Yellow, Blue Indo-Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean Grapsidae Crabs The Sally Lightfoot Crab is also known as the Nimble Spray Crab , Short Crab, or Urchin Crab. It has a brown body, with rings on its legs which fade from orange to yellow. While this species is generally considered an aquatic crab, it actually belongs to a family of shore crabs; however, it is less likely than the other genera to go on land. Its carapace is very flat. which allows it to hide in small crevices within rock work. The Sally Lightfoot Crab is a true omnivore and will eat either algae or small pieces of meaty items that it can scavenge from the substrate and rock work. The Sally Lightfoot Crab prefers a strong currents and will generally require a large aquarium with large amounts of rock work where it can hide and scavenge for detritus. While this species makes an excellent scavenger of leftover meaty foods within the aquarium, it will also eat many types of marine algae. When large, it can become aggressive and catch and eat small invertebrates and even some small fish. If insufficient meaty scraps and algae are present, the Sally Lightfoot Crabs diet may need to be supplemented with dried seaweed or meaty items. In general scavengers; such as; the Sally Lightfoot Crab will find plenty to eat in an established marine aquarium where fish are being fed meaty foods and marine algae is present and thriving.
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Porcelain Anemone Crab
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(Neopetrolisthes ohshimai) Easy Peaceful 1" Carnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None White, Tan Indo-Pacific Porcellanidae Crabs The Porcelain Anemone Crab is a creamy white color with reddish brown spots and/or blotches of red or brown. They have very large front claws, which they use to as a form of protection to fend off potential predators. They are a peaceful species that make a wonderful addition to any reef or invertebrate aquarium, especially if anemones are present. While Porcelain Crabs are very small in stature, they provide a very beneficial service to anemones and reef aquariums alike. Porcelain Crabs scavenge for excess meaty foods and both keep them from spoiling the water and provide a secondary food source for anemones that through their symbiotic relationship with the Porcelain Crab receive the leftover morsels. Porcelain Anemone Crabs typically live together in pairs under the protection of an anemone. Porcelain Anemone Crabs may attempt to defend their territory from clownfish that try to establish themselves among the anemone, although they are not very aggressive and the clownfish will generally prevail. It is however possible to keep both Porcelain Anemone Crabs and clownfish together in the same anemone, providing that the anemone is of a large size. Porcelain Anemone Crabs are generally aggressive toward other similarly sized crabs, and should not be kept with larger, aggressive crabs, which may attack it. Porcelain Anemone Crabs eat planktonic food and mucus from the host anemone. It may be supplemented with meaty tablet foods placed next to the anemone. The Porcelain Anemone Crab is a carnivore and generally only eats meaty foods.
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Emerald Mithrax Crab
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(Mithrax sculptus) Easy Semi-Aggressive 3" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Green Caribbean, Western Atlantic Majidae Crabs The Emerald Mithrax Crab is a very hardy specimen, that is sought after for reef and fish only aquariums for its ability to eat many different types of marine algae including nuisance algae. The Emerald Mithrax Crab is also commonly referred to within the aquarium trade as the Emerald Crab or Emerald Mythrax Crab. The Emerald Mithrax Crab is a bright green color with a flat body, evenly sized claws and hairy legs. This species is very popular for use in an aquarium cleaning crew because of its varied appetite for multiple marine algae and leftover foodstuffs, but also for its ease of care and peaceful demeanor towards other tank inhabitants. The Emerald Mithrax Crab requires a established aquarium with plenty of live rock and reef work for hiding places and to scavenge for algae. The Emerald Mithrax Crab eats algae and various types of meaty items it can scavenge both on the rock work and on the aquarium bottom. It is not harmful to other aquarium inhabitants except for possibly very small fish, but unlike many other invertebrate species, it will eat bubble algae and is extremely useful for cleaning tanks of this potential problem. Emerald Mithrax Crabs are opportunistic feeders, and sufficient food is not available to them, they may turn to supplementing their diet with corals or invertebrates; however, this can be prevented by simply supplementing their diet with dried seaweed or meaty preparations if adequate algae is not present. The Emerald Mithrax Crab is an omnivore and will eat primarily marine algae and any leftover meaty foods that it may come across while scavenging. If there is insufficient algae, their diet should be supplemented with dried seaweed, chopped meaty items or a quality pellet food.
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Electric Orange Hermit Crab
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(Calcinus sp.) Easy Peaceful 2" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Brown, Blue, Orange Hawaiian Islands, Indo-Pacific Diogenidae Crabs The Electric Orange Hermit Crab originates from the Hawaiian Islands and has legs and tentacles with bright orange with brown banding. The claws are identical in size, and these crabs have unique elongated blue eyes. They are a very colorful addition to the marine aquarium and they provide a valuable service in eating any left over food that may settle on the substrate. These crabs live in abandoned snail or triton shells, but if no shells are available it may resort to attacking and eating a snail so it can use the shell for its home. These Hermit Crabs are reef safe, and will not bother invertebrates or corals. This species is an excellent candidate for inclusion in a cleaning crew for either a reef aquarium or a community fish aquarium. The Electric Orange Hermit Crab does not require any specific aquarium conditions above and beyond property water quality and aeration. They should be kept in numbers that correspond to the amount of food available to them in the aquarium. As scavengers they will eat algae and any foodstuffs that make it to the bottom of the aquarium. Electric Orange Hermit Crabs also make an excellent addition to any cleaning crew as they will not only eat leftover food and algae including green hair algae and cyanobacteria, but they will also sift through the sand providing valuable aeration by sifting through the sand. If you have few fish or low lighting in your aquarium, you may have to provide seaweed and meaty tablets to supplement the diet of this crab; however, if the proper number of crabs is kept this should be in rare cases. Electric Orange Hermit Crabs will primarily eat algae and any leftover meaty foods that make it the bottom of the aquarium. They are omnivores and need both plant and animal matter in their diets. In the event that there is not enough algae for them, they can be fed seaweed. If kept in the right numbers, this species should find plenty of meaty scraps scavenging around the aquarium. As with most crabs, the Electric Orange Hermit Crab makes for a great cleaner.
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Electric Blue Hermit Crab
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(Calcinus elegans) Easy Peaceful 2" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Black, Bright Blue, Orange Marshall Islands, Indo-Pacific Diogenidae Crabs The Electric Blue Hermit Crab, a very rare find within the marine aquarium hobby, because it originates exclusively from the Marshall Islands. The Electric Blue Hermit Crab has electrifying blue legs with black banding, and its antennae stand out with its bright orange color, giving it a truly impressive appearance. Both claws are close to being equal size, and are brownish green in color. This tiny crab lives in abandoned snail or triton shells, or it may resort to attacking and eating a snail so it can use the shell for its home. Other than its aggression towards snails if in need of a new shell, the Electric Blue Hermit Crab is very peaceful and will not harm any corals or fish within the aquarium. The Electric Blue Leg Hermit Crab is a valuable addition to an aquarium because it will eat algae including green hair algae and cyanobacteria (red slime algae). In addition, the Electric Blue Hermit Crab provides valuable aeration by sifting through the sand. This species of Hermit Crab is considered to be the most is reef-safe species available within the aquarium trade. The Electric Blue Hermit Crab is without a doubt the most sought after addition to any cleaning crew for both its gentle nature towards other tank inhabitants and the fact that it will eat all the most undesirable algae. The Electric Blue Leg Hermit Crab will primarily eat algae present within the aquarium, but if insufficient amounts of algae are present, then it will need to be fed dried seaweed or equivalent green stuffs. The Electric Blue Hermit Crab is a very rare find in the aquarium trade as it originates exclusively from the Marshall Islands.
Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab
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(Calcinus laevimanus) Easy Peaceful 1" Herbivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Black, White, Orange, Blue Pacific Diogenidae Crabs The Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab, also known as the Hawaiian Reef Hermit Crab or Left-handed Hermit Crab, is a very small hermit crab, but unlike many other hermit crabs, has an enlarged left claw. If a predator attacks, the Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab can back into its shell and use the large claw to block the entrance to its shell. The Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab is a member of the genus Calcinus, which have long eye stalks. In the case of Calcinus laevimanus, the lower half of the eye stalk is blue, and the upper half, orange. The Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab is a valuable addition to an aquarium because it eats many kinds of algae, including red slime algae (cyanobacteria), and sifts the sand, as well. This species should only be added to mature marine aquariums where a plentiful source of marine algae is present. The Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab makes an excellent addition to any marine community or reef aquarium, as it will eat most any marine algae and will not cause any harm to even the most sensitive fish, coral or invert species. The small adult size of this species also makes them an excellent addition to nano-aquariums. Overall a very easy species to keep and very rewarding and beneficial as well. The Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab is a true herbivore and will feed exclusively on marine algae found within the aquarium. If there is insufficient algae in the aquarium, the diet should be supplemented with dried seaweed.
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Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab
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(Clibanarius sp.) Easy Peaceful 1" Herbivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Red, Brown, Black Mexico, Caribbean Diogenidae Crabs The Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab originates from the coastal waters surrounding Mexico, and has a red face and legs. Both claws are of equal size, and members of this genus are sometimes called "Equal-handed Hermit Crabs". This tiny hermit crab lives in abandoned snail shells, which will vary in size and shape. The Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab is prized for its voracious appetite for various nuisance algae, including green hair and cynobacteria. Its appetite for nuisance bacteria and the fact that this species is extremely reef safe, have made it a common member of any good aquarium cleaning crew. The ideal environment for the Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab is an established marine aquarium with plenty of algae and live rock to graze upon. It is also important to be sure to provide empty shells of various sizes to accommodate their growth. If they cannot find a suitable shell to move into as they grow, they might attack a snail for its shell. The Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab is a valuable addition to either a saltwater reef or fish-only aquarium due to their voracious appetite for green hair algae and cyanobacteria. In addition, they provide a valuable service of aerating the substrate by sifting through the sand and are one species of Hermit Crabs that is considered reef-safe. Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs are herbivores and their diet consists algae, which they will scavenge off of the substrate and live rock. Ideally this species should be kept in an established aquarium with plenty of live rock to provide them with plenty of algae to eat. If insufficient algae is present, the Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab will need to be fed dried seaweed.
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Spider Decorator Crab
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(Camposcia retusa) Easy Semi-Aggressive 4" Carnivore Substrate & Rocks 12 gallons No 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Brown, Tan, Orange Indo-Pacific Majidae Crabs The Spider Decorator Crab, which is also known as the Camposcia Decorator Crab or simply Decorator Crab, is a member of the Majidae family of spider and decorator crabs. It decorates its brownish tan body with sponges, shells, rocks, and other items as a method of camouflage. Over time Spider Decorator Crabs can become quite colorful and unique looking depending on the items available for them to decorate themselves with. This is an excellent species to view at night with moonlight simulating led lighting as they are nocturnal and are very active once the lights go out. The Spider Decorator Crab is nocturnal, hunting and scavenging at night (once the main aquarium lights are off). In the reef aquarium, it harvests algae, soft corals, and invertebrates to attach its shell, which gives it not only protection through camouflage, but an extremely interesting look as well. This activity may cause harm to some soft corals, but in the larger reef aquarium, this activity actually helps spread and propagate these same corals throughout the aquarium. Overall this is a very peaceful species that is unique in its appearance and performs many beneficial roles within a healthy reef aquarium. The Spider Decorator Crab is a scavenger, which will mover over the reef and substrate looking for any meaty leftovers. Supplemental feedings of meaty foods such as chopped fish, clams, mussels etc. should be provided from time to time.
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