A side note from my return…

🐠 The poll is open for the February TOTM! 🐠
FishForums.net Tank of the Month!
🏆 Click here to Vote! 🏆

Naterjm

Fishaholic
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
565
Reaction score
591
Location
Canada
I’m not going to say what area or beach I was at…

But I was wading through the water and checking out the local sea life…

Hermit crabs EVERYWHERE. Ranging is size from 1/4” to 3/4” sometimes up to 1”.

Literally stand in one spot and see 5-6 of them in choppy low visibility water.

Got me thinking, a hermit crab setup would be really cool!

I know I’m not supposed to, probably even not allowed to (I haven’t checked the local laws yet), but the temptation is there, because they’re so abundant and so easy to catch.

I probably won’t, but I might, but likely not.

Also, it was so cool walking through the sand bars, seeing tiny fish, clams, baby lobsters, rock crabs, razor clams, and even 2 flounders I nearly stepped on! Those guys are fast.

Tropical fish keeping aside, cold water Atlantic marine life is pretty cool too!
 

Alice B

Fish Addict
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
865
Reaction score
711
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I tried that years ago. I bought a gallon of saltwater at the fish store after we accidentally had a dozen hermit crabs in shells my kids picked up. plan on some filtration or a funeral. I have since successfully kept a reef but it cost a lot
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,217
Reaction score
20,696
Location
Perth, WA
If you live near the coast and have access to clean seawater, go for it.

Set up a 3ft tank (or bigger). Have beach sand on the bottom. Add some rocks from the beach and some plastic plants if you want them. Fill the tank with seawater and add a few hermit crabs. Feed them once or twice a week and let the tank cycle. You can do a fishless cycle too if you don't want the hermits to cycle it. Build it up over time.

There's another thread on here somewhere where one of the members did a cold water marine tank. It's working well for them.


 

WhistlingBadger

Professional Cat Herder
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
5,179
Reaction score
8,715
Location
Where the deer and the antelope play
You need to check in with @eatyourpeas about her Puget Sound biotope. I don't know how uptight Canada is about this sort of thing, but I bet if you lay out your credentials with the local fisheries biologist, you could get permission to do it legally. It has been my experience that fisheries biologists tend to be intrigued, even excited, by weird projects like this, once they understand that you have the expertise to actually pull it off. Don't ask a game warden, though. They get paid to enforce the laws, not to think creatively. :)
 
OP
OP
Naterjm

Naterjm

Fishaholic
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
565
Reaction score
591
Location
Canada
Ahhhhh, welcome faces/names.

Good to see you guys are still active on this forum. Thanks for all the replies, now I won’t sleep tonight thinking about all your insights! Hahaha.

That’s all I’ll say for now, but you can definitely look forward to me Re joining the community shortly. Have a great day/night!
 

eatyourpeas

Fish Herder
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Pacific Northwest, US
They get very chatty!
1661226741286.jpeg


And the shrimp are awesome!
1661226596057.jpeg

1661226633784.jpeg
 

Alice B

Fish Addict
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
865
Reaction score
711
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I thought the shoreline hermit crabs were a different species than the submerged coral reef hermits, seems like I had a 2nd failure trying to keep them in a fully submerged setup with no access to "beach" or "low tide". Not an expert here, except at producing dead shoreline crabs. The ones from the pet store I cycled my reef with did fine.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,217
Reaction score
20,696
Location
Perth, WA
There are hermit crabs in most areas in and around oceans. There are tropical land hermit crabs that kids get as pets and they crawl around a plastic container and get fed a dry hermit crab food, along with some fruit & veg.

There are aquatic hermit crabs that live in warm and cold oceans around the world.

The aquatic crabs need to be kept in water at all times and normally have a lot more colour than the terrestrial type. The terrestrial crabs need land to run around on and a small container of salt water and another of fresh water to drink and bath in.
 

Donya

Crazy Crab Lady
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
4,337
Reaction score
603
Location
Northeastern USA
I'm also not sure how Canada does things, but in some places in the US I've seen hermit crabs and other coastal crustaceans classified as "bait species" that can be collected legally with just a fishing license. Anyway, it's worth checking to see what can be collected as bait in the particular area since rules on that are typically more lax than for other animals.

Also, just an obligatory note about wild-collecting crabs since this thread seems to have headed towards that topic: from the standpoint of balancing wild-collection and ecological soundness, please do not collect any hermit crabs that are in one of the following conditions even if you can do so legally:
  • A larger crab dragging around a smaller one. It is most likely a male and his smaller female mate. She very likely has eggs.
  • Two crabs trying to hold their shell openings together. This is how courtship/mating starts for a lot of Clibanarius species. Just let them do their thing...
  • A female crab with eggs attached to its small back legs. It looks like they have a bunch of tiny bunches of grapes inside the shell. Females carrying eggs are said to be "berried" and some places have laws specifically forbidding collection of berried crustaceans.
  • A soft crab. It just molted and needs time to recover without being stressed.

The aquatic crabs need to be kept in water at all times and normally have a lot more colour than the terrestrial type. The terrestrial crabs need land to run around on and a small container of salt water and another of fresh water to drink and bath in.

There are really 3 behavioral types of hermits to be aware of in terms of the setup they need.
  • Land hermits that spend their time on land and need access to freshwater (seen some debate they need both fresh and salt; they're not my thing so I don't know for sure)
  • Coastal marine hermits that are very likely to escape the tank if they can't get above the waterline but should only ever be around saltwater or high-salinity brackish (never freshwater). A number of large Clibanarius species are in this category as are long-armed hermits from the eastern coast of North America. Many of these species also don't like high tropical water temperatures year round.
  • Deeper water marine hermits that will not leave the water, such as anemone hermits.
The middle category are the ones people can typically collect themselves on foot from tidepools and such. Depending on the location and species you can end up with an extremely unhappy crab forcing it to remain submerged all the time. I have kept both Clibanarius vittatus (some I collected, some not) and C. longitarsus for many years and they will spend all day perched on a rock above the water sometimes. They don't need an extensive land area to explore, but if denied a safe place to sit just above the water they will often desperately try to climb power cords and other equipment and risk falling out and injuring themselves.

I thought the shoreline hermit crabs were a different species than the submerged coral reef hermits, seems like I had a 2nd failure trying to keep them in a fully submerged setup with no access to "beach" or "low tide". Not an expert here, except at producing dead shoreline crabs. The ones from the pet store I cycled my reef with did fine.
There are many different species. Some occur in both habitats, some don't. Pet stores generally have those that either occur in both or in deeper water but sometimes the others come in by accident. Temperature is also a common issue. Many coastal crabs are collected from cooler climates and "burn out" at reef temperatures. For example, if you put Clibanarius vittatus at 80F or more it will be short lived. They may see those temps in the summers but they spend their winters in water down to 40F in the wild. I've never let mine go that cold indoors but I have had crabs 6+ years letting them experience warmer summer at 78-80F and a cooler winter at 68-70F. My oldest crab right now is a Clibanarius longitarsus that I got in 2011. I'm guessing she was a couple years old then so I've had her over 10 years and she's probably more like 12 years old total. Keep either Clibanarius species at a steady high reef temps and they typically only last a couple years.
 

Alice B

Fish Addict
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
865
Reaction score
711
Location
Fort Worth, TX
@Donya Thank you. I developed a practice of making sure all shells are empty, but I was operating on guesswork. Will share info with my beach going daughters. All of our shells come from Galveston Beach. We do try to make sure they are empty, but good to know how to handle the accidental crab guest.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Members online

Top