Alrighty, I've been scouring the internet the past two days for information on a very specific setup. I have some critters from the Normandy Beach Park here in Washington State. The majority of the creatures are shore crabs and small hermit crabs, along with some sea lice, small sea snails and some live barnacle that was stuck on a clam shell. I collected a bit of sand, water, shells and seaweed and have it in a small tank. I'd guess it's about 5.5 gallons?
I know this sounds kind of dumb, but I plan on just going to the source (Ocean) to collect water every so often to refresh the tank. If this is a terrible idea then I will do it traditionally. I'm kind of scared posting this here because I feel like an idiot trying this with so little background experience...it's not a marine reef aquarium and it isn't your "hermit crab" setup either. I wanted to pick relatively hardy animals that live in that specific stretch of beach that also had a freshwater creek/outlet running right beside the ocean. I have found about three various, vague guides on maintaining animals in this zone but nothing specific as specific as what I am trying to do.. Though they are based on the Oregon or California coast rather than Washington Coast- COLLECTING OREGON MARINE INVERTEBRATES, by Joe Middleton
none of them specify long term care though.
I am curious about the sea-weed and algea especially. The species of crab I have eat algea, so I figure I'm going to have to have a light that will allow it to grow a little bit, along with the larger seaweed, I need to find out the species of seaweed though. I gathered stringy green types anchored to pebbles that are sometimes exposed to the sun and air, along with some free floating broader shaped green seaweed that glided to and fro in the tide, and also some other anchored reddish/purplish tinted seaweed.
I do have a pump with a filter going and I have been feeding them betta fish flakes ( temporarily if anyone can tell me it's not good for them) on the advice given in the article about crab care saying it should be a good source.
Here are some ultra crappy web-cam photos I just took.
For reference, I am experienced in keeping true spiders and other invertebrates, this is my first foray into aquariums in general. If this sort of thing isn't really feasable to do then I'll return the crabs to the beach.