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Old 09-20-2006, 03:44 PM   #1
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Crabs in a reef tank ok?

I currently have a fo/lr 90g.My clean up crew consists of crabs and snails.I have about five or six small blue legged and six or seven larger hermits.

Is this going to be a problem when I add coral?


50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
10g fw planted at 3 wpg cf
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:39 PM   #2
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The larger ones will probably knock over your LR and corals. I have the blue legged ones and have never seen any problems



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Old 09-20-2006, 06:36 PM   #3
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As long as you stick with small reef hermits (blue-legged or scarlet) you should be fine. Other cool crabs include emeralds, porcelin or strawberry crabs for variety. All are generally reef safe.
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:01 PM   #4
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Blue legs will kill snails for their shells. I like scarlets better.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:34 AM   #5
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All the hermits will kill snails for their shells, if you don't have any shells available for them. Scarlets are better than most for NOT killing snails.

I would stick with any of the hermits that stay very small. Any hermit that gets bigger than an inch or so will normally 'change behavior' and become a pest, and blue legs and scarlets are better than most for being 'good' crabs. You can also try haloween hermits if you can afford them - they are awesome looking hermits.

Emerald crabs are excellent for the reef, they love hair algae. I have found that they can get rather large and strong too, and will knock over stuff not secured well.

Any crab that has red eyes should be avoided, as a rule (even if tiny) they will eat corals.

As a general rule, all the crabs fall into the 'watch closely' catagory with the only exception the filter feeding sandcrabs and porcelan crabs - these will have net-like mouth parts and will never pick on corals or fish.

If I were you, I would ditch the larger hermits at the LFS for something else. I have also seen larger hermits kill and eat smaller ones as well as any fish they can catch.
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