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EthanPhillyCheesesteak

Red fiddler crabs

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak

Ok, so I had a quick question about these guys. I went to an amazing LFS yesterday, probably the best I’ve ever seen. They had pretty much anything you could ever ask for. They weren’t super pricey either. But I’m low on money at the moment and couldn’t buy anything. I’m planning on going back up to it within a month, but I had a question first. This LFS had a bunch of red fiddler crabs in a tank underneath a field of Xenia. The crabs had no way to get out of the water for air. Do they need air to survive? The guy that I talked to there said that they have been living like that for about 4 months already.

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Snow_Phoenix

I think a paludarium-style setup will be nice for a fiddler crab. Something that looks like this would be most ideal for their care:

 

Image result for fiddler crab paludarium

 

(Pic from Google)

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak
4 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I think a paludarium-style setup will be nice for a fiddler crab. Something that looks like this would be most ideal for their care:

 

Image result for fiddler crab paludarium

 

(Pic from Google)

Do they need that tho to survive? Or is it just to make them feel comfortable? Bc like I said, this guy has had them in a tank for 4 months without a way to the surface.

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Snow_Phoenix
11 minutes ago, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

Do they need that tho to survive? Or is it just to make them feel comfortable? Bc like I said, this guy has had them in a tank for 4 months without a way to the surface.

I don't know much about them, but I have presumed for many years that fiddlers needed some form of land (sand) to live properly. Perhaps someone else can chime in on the issue.

 

Also, just because your LFS does something/has been doing something a certain way, it doesn't necessarily mean that way is in the best interest of the animal in concern. You might want to google up fiddler crab care in the meantime - just for a bit of light reading. :wink:

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak
3 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I don't know much about them, but I have presumed for many years that fiddlers needed some form of land (sand) to live properly. Perhaps someone else can chime in on the issue.

 

Also, just because your LFS does something/has been doing something a certain way, it doesn't necessarily mean that way is in the best interest of the animal in concern. You might want to google up fiddler crab care in the meantime - just for a bit of light reading. :wink:

I actually did, I used to get harassed on here about not doing my research before asking questions. I did look and I didn’t find much about these guys. I found some that say that they need land to get onto and others that aren’t so sure.

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak

I found this on thatpetplace.com. “These Red Burrowing Crabs appear to survive well in full saltwater. They can be kept for awhile in an aquarium but benefit from having space to crawl out of the water.” It says that they can be kept in just an aquarium, but they do benefit from having a place to crawl out, so the land for them to get on out of the water must be for the interest of the animal? 

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Snow_Phoenix
13 minutes ago, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

I found this on thatpetplace.com. “These Red Burrowing Crabs appear to survive well in full saltwater. They can be kept for awhile in an aquarium but benefit from having space to crawl out of the water.” It says that they can be kept in just an aquarium, but they do benefit from having a place to crawl out, so the land for them to get on out of the water must be for the interest of the animal? 

Assume that you're trying your best to recreate a mini-habitat that reflects the crab's natural habitat in the wild. (That's what I meant by best interest, if there's any confusion along the way - sorry for that).

 

So if fiddler crabs in the wild need some land to survive and thrive, then provide them that land. But once again, I don't know much about fiddler crabs. I have observed them living at the fringe of the sea, and constantly scuttling about on the sand on the beaches here. So I *think they might need a small sand bar to rest on/burrow in. 

 

 

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak
43 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Assume that you're trying your best to recreate a mini-habitat that reflects the crab's natural habitat in the wild. (That's what I meant by best interest, if there's any confusion along the way - sorry for that).

 

So if fiddler crabs in the wild need some land to survive and thrive, then provide them that land. But once again, I don't know much about fiddler crabs. I have observed them living at the fringe of the sea, and constantly scuttling about on the sand on the beaches here. So I *think they might need a small sand bar to rest on/burrow in. 

 

 

What about instead of having an entire sand bar for the crab, could I just use a mangrove shoot and make like a ladder leading up to the shoot for him to climb up too?

It’s only a ten gallon tank, so I don’t have the kinda room for a sand bar😂

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Rob22

https://animals.mom.me/underwater-habitat-fiddler-crab-6564.html

 

See the link. When I was a kid petco or PetSmart one sold these as freshwater crabs. I used to buy them for a couple of bucks and keep them in a small tank with an island. They always died in a few weeks but I kept trying because the store told me this is the best for them And that they had real short lifespans. They had no clue what they were talking about.
 

 Fiddler crabs are brackish, not saltwater, and are semi terrestrial. If they could survive in the reefs, they would be there naturally. They need a place to exit, burrow and dry out. Just because they have had fiddler crabs in saltwater for four months doesn’t mean they have survived. You don’t know how many have died and eaten by their tank mates or were sold only to later die. You may get lucky and have one survive a month in a reef tank but it is highly unlikely. Best case is the lfs is ill informed on their care, worst case is they know the requirements and are outright lying to you. I am going to side with ill informed. They are pretty easy to take care of if you set up the correct habitat for them, but  save the money and don’t just drop them in a reef tank. 

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Rob22
6 minutes ago, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

What about instead of having an entire sand bar for the crab, could I just use a mangrove shoot and make like a ladder leading up to the shoot for him to climb up too?

It’s only a ten gallon tank, so I don’t have the kinda room for a sand bar😂

Glue a baffle in. Fill one side with a half inch of sand and 3-4 inches of water and  fill the others side with just sand and create a “ladder” with a piece or two of choice live rock. It will have footholds for the crab to get out. Run the side with water at 1.005 to 1.010 salinity with a small circulation pump. 

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak
15 minutes ago, Rob22 said:

Glue a baffle in. Fill one side with a half inch of sand and 3-4 inches of water and  fill the others side with just sand and create a “ladder” with a piece or two of choice live rock. It will have footholds for the crab to get out. Run the side with water at 1.005 to 1.010 salinity with a small circulation pump. 

I don’t think that we are talking about the same things here. The fiddlers I’m talking about are called red burrowing crabs and everywhere I look says that they are full saltwater. Not brackish. 

And also, what’s a baffle?

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Rob22

A baffle, like in a sump. A small glass or acrylic partition wall from the bottom of the tank extending partway up. 

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Rob22

If you google red burrowing crab you get a generic Uca species, which is a fiddler crab as you originally stated. I would call the store and see if they can provide the Latin name of the crab and research that. There are around 100 different fiddler species in the Uca genus and it is possible this one is different than the vast majority of fiddler crabs that are semi terrestrial and live on shores and marshes. Without the Latin name or a pic that is positively identified, were just gambling based off of commonly found information. 

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak

So just something like this? I could probably make something like this out of zip ties.

71A18481-206A-4D6B-8DA3-3A88FF138406.png

Just now, Rob22 said:

If you google red burrowing crab you get a generic Uca species, which is a fiddler crab as you originally stated. I would call the store and see if they can provide the Latin name of the crab and research that. There are around 100 different fiddler species in the Uca genus and it is possible this one is different than the vast majority of fiddler crabs that are semi terrestrial and live on shores and marshes. Without the Latin name or a pic that is positively identified, were just gambling based off of commonly found information. 

Ok thank you, I’ll call them later and ask them if they could provide that

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Ratvan

Well some Fiddler Crabs can drown so yes definitely find out exactly what they are, the majority will require some land (even a turtle ramp will do).

Depending on species you may need a specific Salinity 

 

I kept large hermits a while ago and house them in this

https://ciano.pt/en/produto/tartarium-40/

 

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Rob22
27 minutes ago, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

So just something like this? I could probably make something like this out of zip ties.

71A18481-206A-4D6B-8DA3-3A88FF138406.png

Ok thank you, I’ll call them later and ask them if they could provide that

That might work. I was thinking a bit easier. Attached is a pic of part of the sump I am using on a 150 build. The shorter wall that is next to the skimmer is what I meant by a baffle. It’s just a piece of acrylic or glass cut to size and siliconed in. If you go for acrylic, keep in mind acrylic doesn’t bind to glass all that well and that it also swells and can crack the glass. Have it cut a little shorter so it doesn’t press against the side of the tank as it swells. If you have 40lbs of sand pushing against it It could also come loose. Check with a local glass shop and see if they can cut you a piece from scrap and polish the top and sides so you don’t cut yourself handling it. Fresh cut glass is sharper than you think it would be. If they can cut it from scrap it shouldn’t be too much. I would go with 3/8” or 1/4” thick if you go that route. 

5E32540B-CAA9-4937-A67F-37164B61CD8D.png

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Tired

Fiddler crabs need to have land to get out on, and they also need damp sand to burrow in. You should really have at least 1/3 of their habitat be slightly damp sand, NOT submerged, so that they can dig a burrow and it will stay. They may not die without a burrow, but they won't be able to express their full natural behaviors, they won't be able to create the kind of place that they like to stay in, and they won't be 'happy'.

 

The paludarium photo above is a good example of what to provide. You can divide the sand area off with a baffle, but that will require regular moistening on the sand side (with freshwater), and occasional mixing so the salt doesn't all settle out. The simpler thing to do is just to fill the tank only a short way with saltwater, and then heap sand in so that it comes above the waterline. When given something like this, they dig long burrows, which they'll take refuge in if they feel threatened. It's fun to watch them dig and maintain their tunnels.

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Amyjw7734
On 10/16/2019 at 7:26 AM, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

Ok, so I had a quick question about these guys. I went to an amazing LFS yesterday, probably the best I’ve ever seen. They had pretty much anything you could ever ask for. They weren’t super pricey either. But I’m low on money at the moment and couldn’t buy anything. I’m planning on going back up to it within a month, but I had a question first. This LFS had a bunch of red fiddler crabs in a tank underneath a field of Xenia. The crabs had no way to get out of the water for air. Do they need air to survive? The guy that I talked to there said that they have been living like that for about 4 months already.

 

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