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Old 12-06-2003, 10:57 AM   #1
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Naughty Hermit Crab in Reef Tank!

In response to a small algae growth I was having I purchased 2 large turbo snails from my LFS. After acclimating them to my tank I put them in and walked away. I returned to check on things after a few minutes and this big bruiser of a hermit that I have was sitting on top of one of the snails he had flipped upside down furiously digging at it. I took him off and set him on the other side of the tank and watched the snail for a few. It did not come out of its shell. I left and returned to find the naughty crab at the other snail shell doing the same thing. I took this snail and put it up in a piece of decorative coral I have to get it away from the crab. The next morning I awoke to find the hermit with both snails, one on each side of him, snails pulled out of the shells, moving from shell to shell. I swear the little punk was looking at me like "thanks for the new home" summer home..... winter home..... he never ate the snails, just wanted the shells.

While the story is somewhat funny, I am concerned that the crab may have to go. The loss of the snails is not good, and I am worried about him attacking my other fish and inverts. I think from what I can tell he is a standard hermit crab. He does a great job of keeping the tank clean so I would rather not get rid of him

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I also have a questions about Tangs in a reef tank but will post that later.

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Old 12-06-2003, 11:56 AM   #2
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Sounds like a rather large Hermit... I can tell you if it isn't a hermit that is suggested for a reef tank, i.e. Blue Leg, Scarlet, Zebra, etc... then you may want to get rid of it... I had an Anemone Hermit one time that grew to about 2 inches and it was like a bulldozer. It knocked down rocks and ate some of my softies... I ultimately got rid of the bugger... I sure don't miss the clacking around he did with that big shell....

Seriously though, Hermits are not friendly to snails...They will attack anything that resembles a snail just to get the shell... This is what they do in the wild... Not only do they get a snack, they get a house out of it too....
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Old 12-06-2003, 01:49 PM   #3
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Knocking on wood here, but none of my 6 crabs have bothered the snails in my tank. I do have 20 or so misc shells in the tank for them to play with. They switch shells regularly so Ive given up trying to figure out who is who anymore.
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Old 12-06-2003, 06:51 PM   #4
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Hermits do like to switch shells, Do you have lots of extra's in there for them?

Look's Like A Butterfly & Stings Like A Bee!!
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:09 PM   #5
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I have at least 15 extra shells in all different sizes, and my hermits change shells all of the time. At least 2 or 3 a day switch!
"So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems...And God saw that it was good" Gen1:21
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Old 12-06-2003, 10:47 PM   #6
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i would prob get rid of the hermit anyway. If it did it once, it will continue to do it.
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Old 12-07-2003, 12:10 PM   #7
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All hermits will do this. Its in there nature. They are creatures of fortune. Nothing ticked me off more than when i found a Zebra Hermit wearing the shell of my NEW Queen Conch.

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