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Micro Decorators

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Well, it's time for a Reefcleaners order and I've been eyeing the microdecorators and the fire fern macro they carry, that said mithrax and true decorators are SERIOUS no-go's for clam-keepers from what I've read. However the only similar florida-native species to what they've got in stock, at least that I've been able to dig up, are the cryptic teardrop crab and the banded-clinger crab. The former *may* be okay simply because of its' small size and potential to be a near-exclusive algae-eater and omnivore as a last-ditch survival adaptation, the latter would probably (eventually) result in aggression and removal at some point.

Species identification can be near-impossible so I guess my question is does anyone have experience or additional photography of these little guys, or are there any invert guru's out there who may be able to take a shot-in-the-dark in terms of compatibility? Otherwise I suppose I'm probably better-off going without to be safe... (Nobody wants to lead the pack on animal "compatibility" lol, obvious reasons)



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No experience with clams here, but I did keep several of these micro decorators for awhile and made a few observations:

  • Despite the description on RC, they are very much decorator crabs. They adorned themselves with various bits and pieces scavenged from my rocks, mostly pieces of small turf algae and fleshy algae like Caulerpa verticillata.
  • They are more active than most people seem to give them credit for. I'd see them slowly but actively traversing the tank every day in search of hair algae and other tidbits. They would routinely move from one side of my tank to the other in the course of a day.
  • They never showed any interest in my sessile invertebrates. They'd get excited if a sinking pellet or piece of flake landed near them, but I never saw them picking at anything or doing any damage. They would however occasionally climb my gorgonians for some reason.
  • I have many macros in my tank but these crabs definitely seemed to prefer clinging to the rocks rather than climbing my macroalgae.

No way of knowing for sure but I'd be leery about adding them to a system with clams. They are definitely decorator crabs and do decorator crab things, despite their small size.

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