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Jakesaw

Red Scarlett Hermit Crab - do I need to spot feed?

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Jakesaw

1 month old - dry rock + painted live rock - and dead sand to start 1 clown - and 1 day old red scarlett hermit. 

 

My 10 gallon tank has cycled and I have had very light algae covering on my rocks.  2 small diatoms of brownish / orangish coloring have come and gone on rock and sand.  I got my first CUC critter yesterday - thinking he would eat left over food in sand from fish feeding.  On same day I added a circulation pump to my tank - and the leftover food now blows around until the filter pulls it away.  There goes my intended meal for Scarlett crab.

 

In the 24 hrs, crab has crawled over my entire rock work and at least 1/3 of sand.  I don't think my current tank has enough food for him to thrive / survive right now?

 

* Do I need to worry about him finding food?

* Should I somehow spot feed him until tank develops more algae for him to feed off of ( perhaps when I add a reef light )

* Recommendations of food if I need to spot feed

 

Thanks

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Broseff

I've use Crab Cuisine to supplementally feed hermits. It's a sinking pellet, I normally just break it into 3rds and drop it around my hermit. You could soak it first in a little of tank water and use a pipette to put the pellets infront of it. 

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Tired

You should try not to have leftover food. Give the fish only as much as they'll eat, and if they don't catch it in time, turn off the pumps while feeding. Especially in a new tank that's going to take as long to mature as a dry rock tank will. There isn't going to be a population of scavengers to go after all that. 

 

You should definitely spot-feed the hermit crab. IMO, it can be a good idea to spot-feed them even in a tank with a lot of algae, as they're omnivores. Unless they're getting food elsewhere, they'll benefit from non-algae foods. They'll eat any fish food you have, they don't need anything specific. And if you train them to take food from tweezers or a pipette, they'll learn to recognize it fast, and will chase that tool if they see it.

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Jakesaw

@Broseff, 

 

Thank you,

 

* I'll add that to my shopping list.  

* How often do you feed them?  Supplemental or daily feeding.  

* When my tank grows out more algae, will he be able to live on tank stuff or will I always have to be feeding some Pellets?

 

Thanks

 

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Tired

Daily is probably best while there's nothing else for him to eat. Just a tiny bit is fine. Once there's plenty of algae, once or twice a week would be good. He won't die if you don't feed him when the tank has a lot of algae, plenty of people don't feed their hermits, but it certainly won't hurt him to give him a bit of food now and then. 

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Jakesaw
1 minute ago, Tired said:

You should try not to have leftover food.

This i know and am sparingly feeding..  I'm alternating frozen brine shrimp and small pellets.  With the Brine shrimp clown is kindof spoiled.  He's a top feeder and rarely chases a food that goes below 2-3 inches of water depth.  No way to keep some from hitting the sandbed. 

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Jakesaw

@Tired

 

Is that a Red cherry shrimp in your profile.  

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Broseff
5 minutes ago, Jakesaw said:

@Broseff, 

 

Thank you,

 

* I'll add that to my shopping list.  

* How often do you feed them?  Supplemental or daily feeding.  

* When my tank grows out more algae, will he be able to live on tank stuff or will I always have to be feeding some Pellets?

 

Thanks

 

I've only ever had invert tanks, so normally when there's no algae I feed them every other day (at the most). 

With algae grown out I'd feed them twice a week (at most). The pellets are supposed to be enriched with calcium, and balanced (so, I'd assume a decent source of protein) which they wouldn't get from algae. But that's for invert only tanks. 

 

If there's left over fish food from feeding a clownfish, I might not feed the hermit very often (depending on what you feed your clownfish).

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Tired

It's actually an opae ula. They're a species of tiny, Hawaiian brackish water shrimp, the same ones you see in those little "ecosphere" things. Ecospheres don't actually work, the shrimp slowly starve, but they're incredibly easy to keep in a proper setup. All they need is a couple gallons of brackish water, and enough light to grow algae. They're so small and have such mild bioloads that the algae uses up all of the waste, and they eat the algae. Just top up the tank as needed, leave them alone, and they'll grow and breed. Individuals can supposedly live up to 20 years in proper care, and they need few, if any, water changes. No filter (the larvae are planktonic), no heater unless it's really cold, just water, light, and rocks for algae to grow on. The easiest aquarium pets in the world, possibly second to those moss ball things.

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Jakesaw

I think I should name the Scarlett hermit crab - Houdini.  

 

He seems to have found a way to disappear. I'm sure he's in there somewhere, but darned if I can find him.  Yesterday he was all over the rockwork both sides of tank.  Today I can't find him anywhere. I checked the rock, sand, nowhere.  Maybe my baby clown felt he was a puffer and ate him.  LOL

 

Spot feeding is going to be difficult when he's not in a visible spot to feed.  Should I just put a pellet somewhere in the sand and he'll find it?

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Jakesaw

Houdini made an appearance in middle of tank sand bed at Dinner time.  

 

I grabbed an eye dropper and got a few brine shrimp in front of him and left the circulation pumps off for a while.  Hopefully he was able to get a little snack out of it. 

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Tired

Yeah, they'll pop up at feeding time. Hermit crabs do tend to hang out somewhere sheltered just before molting, so he might have been doing that. A hermit crab molt has more color than a shrimp molt, it looks like proper legs and claws and everything.

 

Make sure to have plenty of spare shells for him, of the right shape. Scarlet hermits like a particular shape of shell, they're a bit pickier than other hermits. If you look them up online, you can see what shape they like- basically every result will be wearing one. Baby ones will wear ceriths sometimes, and then they want heavy, thick shells that tend to look really beat-up.

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Broseff

Oh yea! The molts are WILD, they're still fully colored. the first time I had a hermit molt I was conviced something ripped it out of its shell.

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Jakesaw

Will it ever molt and keep same shell?  

 

Houdini is only 2 days in my tank.  I knew about shells but not something i had gotten ready for yet in my planning.  Do I need to pick up a shell or few tomorrow at Reef store, is there a place where i can grab assorted shells.  What should I expect to be paying for a few empty shells?

 

Houdini's currently sporting a conical style shell.  Somewhat like this

mexican-red-leg-hermit-crab.jpg&f=1&nofb

 

Thanks 

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Broseff
22 minutes ago, Jakesaw said:

Will it ever molt and keep same shell?  

 

Houdini is only 2 days in my tank.  I knew about shells but not something i had gotten ready for yet in my planning.  Do I need to pick up a shell or few tomorrow at Reef store, is there a place where i can grab assorted shells.  What should I expect to be paying for a few empty shells?

 

Houdini's currently sporting a conical style shell.  Somewhat like this

 

Thanks 

Sometimes they will depending on the size of their shell. I would recomment grabbing a couple and just placing them somewhere not so noticeable in your tank. 

Some places hand shells out for free, some do it for a few cents.

 

Are you sure you have a red/scarlet hermit? Normally they're BRIGHT red.

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Jakesaw

I was told Red scarlett by store owner, and the crab in shell is definitely bright red.  Shell has a dull purplish color to it.  

 

That pic was random from web to illustrate shell style on Houdini. He's back in disappeared mode.

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Broseff

Oh okay. I think most conical shells (long ones like the one in the photo) will work. I've had my hermits wear a couple different kinds of shells, they've never been too picky. 

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Tired

They can molt and keep the same shell, yes, but it's good to have shells on hand whenever possible. The shells should be pretty cheap. If they take the shells out of a tank, though, make sure it's an actually empty shell and not another hermit!

 

That's one of the styles of shell they like, yep. The other shape is, well. I'm sure you can see a theme below.

image.thumb.png.65e5a6c78af69c2eac9207ad7d2878d1.png

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Jakesaw

I'm still amazed at how the crab got on my rock lugging that shell on his back.  I have a small rock where I could see a climb path onto rock.  but other side of my tank has is anchored with 2 medium sized rocks that are less textured and have sharp overhang shapes below.  I can't picture where he'd get a footing to crawl up onto it.  but sure enough he's been on both rock forms cruising around yesterday before getting his Houdini name today playing disappear game.

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Broseff

When I had a reef tank I had a frag rack being help up by light diffusers (egg crates, what ever you want to call them) and my hermits would climb up the racks all the time. 

 

Totally agree, climbing skills are amazing. 

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Jakesaw

Disappeared all day again today - but I left my pumps off for a bit after Evening feed.  

 

What do ya know, Houdini was on my larger rock upside down crawling down the rock in front of display.  I missed taking a picture, but as soon as I put the pumps back on, he quickly scurried down the rock and disappeared for another day I'm guessing. 

 

Crabs are definitely agile in their climbing skills.

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Tired

Scarlet reef hermits hold on very strongly to rockwork, and I think are better at it than other hermits. Based on that, their preference for thicker shells, and the fact that trying to pick them up makes them hold on tighter instead of retreating, I think they might live in areas with more wave action than other common reef hermit species. 

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Jakesaw

Houdini is BUSTED!!!

 

I found out where he goes when not on rock.  He crawls up the silocone in corners of tank.  I caught him crawling all the way to the top of tank.  I opened the lid and he was literally right there.  Maybe trying to crawl out?

 

Is this something that happens with Scarletts?  Normal behavior?  

 

This is all new to me, but was pretty shocked to see Hermit greeting me at the top of tank lid :lol:

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Broseff

That's wild. I've only had hermits in a one piece acrylic, so mine can't do that, but I'm sure it's normal.

 

I think most species of hermits (even land ones) like climbing. 

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Jakesaw

Maybe I need to get him some food pellets.  Perhaps he's scavaging for food b/c my tank  doesn't have much stuff for him to graze on.  Maybe started my CUC a little early

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