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Old 10-23-2008, 12:08 AM   #1
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Question Any ideas?'

I got a nice clean up crew consisting of some crabs and snails. Well starting to run into a problems. They are getting trap/stuck in my rocks and dieing! So far 2 out of 3 crabs have climbed around on the live rocks and managed to get themselves stuck in crevices. Then they are helpless! I continue to remove them and place them back into the sand. there is lots of hair alge and lots for them to eat at the sand level. Two I have found dead where the shell has been stuck in the rocks and the crabs have crawled out. Then I find a died crab a day later. I really cant move my rocks around to remove any of the crevices as most are IN the rock itself. Should I use a different type of clean up crew that would be more sutiable for my rock structure?
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:29 AM   #2
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I have dwarf blue leg hermits that don't seem to have a problem getting stuck in rocks. Maybe you have a larger variety? One solution i can think of that is probably a good idea anyway is to provide a bunch of other shells for the hermits. That way if they get stuck and crawl out they have other options to move to. It helps anyway because as they grow the will need bigger shells and if they can't find one they will kill your snails for their shells.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:29 AM   #3
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Are you sure you're just not seeing crab shells from a molt? All crabs will molt occasionally - where they cast off their old shell. (The one on their body... not their big "hermit" shell.) After a molt, it seems like they hide in their shell for a day or so while their body rehardens.

I've got very crevasey (is that a word?!) rock, and I've never had any crabs get stuck to the point that they die. Might take them a few hours to work their way out of the jam they're in, but they always do.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:46 AM   #4
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ummm. maybe your right, I will have to keep an eye on the tank and see if I can find more than one at a time. Come to think about it, it seems all Im finding is the claw area of the crab. I asumed the "soft" part was eaten by other critters. I pick the shells out of the rocks when I see them wedged and drop them down to the sand. I've found two "remains" and can only find one crab, but this has just been over the past day or two. I'll keep my eye open and update
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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I agree with Kurt that they should be able to get out. Probably seeing their molts as he said.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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I definitely agree. Of all the molts I have seen, hermits are the most real looking.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:12 PM   #7
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Absolutely. Shortly after I got a dozen scarlet reef hermits the bottom of my tank was littered with what I though were corpses I freaked out. A day or two later I saw my little scarlets scurying about.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:19 AM   #8
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Well - Thank you everyone! Mystery solved. I was really doubting as yesterday when I got home from work I found the 3rd "remains" and no crabs to be found. But a quick investigation just now showed THREE hermit crabs happily grazing on my hair algae! Do I need to add some "bigger" empty hermit crab shells around the tank? I'm soooo happy they are still there!
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:05 PM   #9
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It wouldn't hurt to toss a few larger shells in the tank. They will kill snails and take their shells.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:04 PM   #10
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I agree, the shell size does need to be a bit bigger, but more importantly, make sure the hole is bigger than the one they are in.
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