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Share your fiddler crab experience, please!

BeckyCats

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Hello, All! A few months ago my son and I saw fiddler crabs in a store and we are in love with them. SO CUTE!!! I did some internet research on them and have learned that they are brackish and best in a species-only tank. I have a 55 gallon long that is currently set up as a planted freshwater tropical, but I am thinking about turning it into a brackish fiddler crab tank when all of the current fish eventually die. This is likely to be a year or more, so I have time to plan, but I like to research a LOT before I get a pet, so I am hoping that there are some folks here who can share what it is really like to have a fiddler crab tank. I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What I have learned from my research thus far is:
They need both land and water, land being equal to water in both importance and area. Space should be left at the top and lid should be secure as they can escape.
They molt (like shrimp), so don't be alarmed when empty shells appear.
More than one male may not be a good idea unless space permits. I'm not sure if this size tank is large enough for more than male since only half of it can be land and a 55 long is actually fairly shallow in front-to-back width. I don't really care if they are males or females, as I find both adorable. I just want a healthy, happy population and I'm not sure how many that would be. I wouldn't want to put in too many or too few, as both can be bad for the animals.
Underwater filters can be used to create little water falls, etc. if I can figure out how to rig it up (more research needed on this portion).
Some plants are okay with this lower salinity (like java fern, etc), but the crabs may eat them and dig them up. As long as this isn't harmful, I'm totally fine with that. Gives them something to do.
Heating the water appropriately and keeping a tight lid will keep the air in the tank appropriately moist.

I would need to do more research and planning before actually buying filters, heaters, etc. I have a heater in the tank now of course, but it is designed for 55 gallons of water but as a fiddler crab tank, it will have much less than that. I'll need a new heater and filter but I have time to figure out that part of it. What I'm really wondering about is maintenance. I see that I change the water and remix the salts in, etc. but what about salt buildup and other waste buildup in the sand? Is that something I need to worry about? Do I need to remove sand and rinse it occasionally? If so, how is this done in such a way so as not to harm/traumatize the crabs?

Are there other things that I should know about before seriously considering going this route?

Thanks in advance!
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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Anyone? Fiddler crab experience?
 

Retired Viking

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I also lost a fiddler crab to a puffer when I first got the puffer, with in an hour or two he had killed him. That was many years ago and no one had warned me. I also had several in my 55 gallon tank, They would climb up the air lines,one day my wife screamed, there was a large carb that escaped and was running across the floor. I made sure he made it safely back to the tank ;)
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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My puffers love eating fiddler crabs and they're great for trimming their beak. That's really all I got.
Oh dear! :S Well, happily for mine if I ever get any, there will be no puffer fish involved! lol
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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I also lost a fiddler crab to a puffer when I first got the puffer, with in an hour or two he had killed him. That was many years ago and no one had warned me. I also had several in my 55 gallon tank, They would climb up the air lines,one day my wife screamed, there was a large carb that escaped and was running across the floor. I made sure he made it safely back to the tank ;)
Ha ha! I did read that they were escape artists. I'll have to take that seriously, apparently! I don't think my husband would be too thrilled about an escapee.

What about brackish tanks in general? How are they to maintain? Does one need to get salt buildup out of the sand or do you just leave the sand alone and change out water?
 

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Ha ha! I did read that they were escape artists. I'll have to take that seriously, apparently! I don't think my husband would be too thrilled about an escapee.

What about brackish tanks in general? How are they to maintain? Does one need to get salt buildup out of the sand or do you just leave the sand alone and change out water?
That was many years ago and I was never told about brackish water :no: I have been researching having crabs again . Sand, brackish water and a place for them to sit and dry themselves are things I was not told about by the LFS back then. I wish I had known my crabs may have lived longer.
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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That was many years ago and I was never told about brackish water :no: I have been researching having crabs again . Sand, brackish water and a place for them to sit and dry themselves are things I was not told about by the LFS back then. I wish I had known my crabs may have lived longer.
The store where I saw them actually told me they were freshwater and just needed for small a piece of decoration to stick out of the water so that they could briefly take a breath of air. Other than that, they are completely freshwater I was told. So, the info is still not great! :(
 

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I also had red clawed crabs which are very nice looking, do not have them in the same tank with fiddler crabs. They are very active and can even swim a short way by rapidly moving their legs.
 

utahfish

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I had a few red claw crabs in a 20 gallon species tank. Theyre dirty. I would pour water over their dry area to clean off the poop, which was a big piece of wood then siphon out the water and kept it at about half full. They were always finding ways to escape and when they werent crawling out of the tank to go on walk abouts they were in the tank killing eachother:( about the only thing i really enjoyed about them was when i fed them peas and they would carry them around between both their claws like little green basketballs.other than that they were more trouble than they were worth.
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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I had a few red claw crabs in a 20 gallon species tank. Theyre dirty. I would pour water over their dry area to clean off the poop, which was a big piece of wood then siphon out the water and kept it at about half full. They were always finding ways to escape and when they werent crawling out of the tank to go on walk abouts they were in the tank killing eachother:( about the only thing i really enjoyed about them was when i fed them peas and they would carry them around between both their claws like little green basketballs.other than that they were more trouble than they were worth.
Oh my lord. I can't even stand how cute that mental image is. Little green basketballs! :wub:
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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I had a few red claw crabs in a 20 gallon species tank. Theyre dirty. I would pour water over their dry area to clean off the poop, which was a big piece of wood then siphon out the water and kept it at about half full. They were always finding ways to escape and when they werent crawling out of the tank to go on walk abouts they were in the tank killing eachother:( about the only thing i really enjoyed about them was when i fed them peas and they would carry them around between both their claws like little green basketballs.other than that they were more trouble than they were worth.
Although the part about them killing each other is perhaps less cute. :(
 
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