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Old 06-08-2004, 06:00 PM   #1
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Strawberry Hermit Crab?

Hello all. This is my first post here, but I have been lurking for about 6 months.
I love the website and community that you have here!
So, here is my first question. (I say first, because I’m sure there will be more!)

I’ll lay out my tank specifics before my question, just in case.
I have had a 30-gallon tank (rectangle, glass) for about 7 months.
The inhabitants are:
2 Yellow Tail Damsels
1 Black Striped Humbug Damsel
1 ? Damsel (looks like a Blue Fin, but is cream colored with orange accents on fins)
1 Maroon Clown (white stripe version)
1 Small Yellow Tang (I know it will need a bigger tank. I’ll have that before it gets too big.)
1 Emerald Crab (about an inch wide)
1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (medium sized)
10 Nessarious Snails

All these guys and gals get along just fine.
The shrimp cleans the Tang.
The damsels don’t attack each other.
The maroon clown is very social. I think he is the tank gossip fish. lol
The emerald crab has a nice little cave under some live rock that he likes to hang out in and on.
And the snails do their snail thing. Sometimes having illegal races up the glass walls.

SO, after all that. Here’s my question.
Can I add a small strawberry hermit crab?
My LFS called and said they have one in stock, in a shell about 1 and a half inches long.
Also, they say the crab won’t need a new shell for a while, as it is small.
I have read about hermits attacking other aquarium members, and wondered if one that size would attack my emerald or my fish.
Any thoughts?
And if he is too small to be a nuisance. How long before he is big enough to do some damage?
I’d love to have the strawberry hermit and the emerald, but don’t want to put my emerald in un-needed danger.

Thanks for any help or thoughts,

Sea Cat
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Old 06-08-2004, 07:32 PM   #2
JG
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Welcome !

I honestly don't know anthing first hand about the crab in question. Found a pic of one , though - very pretty.

My experience with hermits is that they are omnivores. I have personally seen then pull my snails out of their shells ('8O')and scarf them down then turn around and devour an algae pellet.

Some are carnivores ( including the strawberry hermit so I read) so I would say that you will accept a certain amount of risk if you purchase the hermit.

I also read that they are not considered to be reef safe, so that might be a consideration as well if you have future plans for reef critters.

JG
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Old 06-08-2004, 07:49 PM   #3
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com

I would actually suggest you pass on this crab. It sounds like the Coenobita perlatus which is actually a land hermit and not suited for the aquarium. There are some types of larger hermits that can actually be kept in a marine aquarium but are by no means safe for anything but an FO with larger more aggressive species. I would urge caution.

They do actually grow on the slower side but these types of hemits will get large enough to fill the palm of your hand. 8O

Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input!
The first question I had for my LFS owner (who is a family friend as well, and one of the more informed LFS peoples) was whether it was an aquatic or land hermit. He said it is an aquatic hermit for sure.
The distributor he gets his sea life from only sell ocean creatures, and not land creatures. Now, I know hermit babies wash out to see and then swim in to live their adult life, and therefore could possibly be a land hermit baby. But, could it be just a red shelled hermit crab that the distributor name "strawberry" on their list? Instead of actually being a "real" strawberry hermit crab? And even if it is an aquatic crab, is it still going to be a danger not worth getting?

EDIT: I also read that non-aquatic hermits will drown after being in the water too long. This crab has been in the water the whole time it's been captive. So, I assume it is definetely aquatic. Maybe I should take a look at it to see what type it is for sure?
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:05 AM   #5
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Hi Sea Cat, welcome to the forum

I actually just wanted to let you know that a lot of people use a different theme to view the forum and it's very difficult to read your posts if you use that colour. It's up to you if you want to change it but just thought I'd point it out
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Cat
But, could it be just a red shelled hermit crab that the distributor name "strawberry" on their list? Instead of actually being a "real" strawberry hermit crab? And even if it is an aquatic crab, is it still going to be a danger not worth getting?

EDIT: I also read that non-aquatic hermits will drown after being in the water too long. This crab has been in the water the whole time it's been captive. So, I assume it is definetely aquatic. Maybe I should take a look at it to see what type it is for sure?[/color]
I would definately get a possitive ID before you purchase it. There is no large growing hermit I am aware of that will be safe. As a rule they will eat anything they can catch.

It wouldn't happen to look like these...? Dardanus megistos

Cheers
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:45 AM   #7
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I will check on its ID in the morning when I visit the LFS.
Sounds like he probably won't work out, but I'd like to get a look at him first.

(Thanks for the colored text info. I didn't realize there were other color themes for the site! lol I have mine set on the dark purple one now )
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:35 PM   #8
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Well, I brought the crab home. I know he may eventually end up in a smaller tank of his own to keep my other creatures safe, but once I saw him, I just had to identify him! LOL
The LFS owner and me had been talking about colorful hermit crabs a couple weeks back, and he ordered him for me, so I felt bad not taking him home for at least a test drive.

The crab is so small that his legs are skinnier than toothpicks and his pinchers are very very tiny as well, so I don’t think he is a danger right now. I’m not sure the little tiny guy could even catch a nessarious snail right now, let alone a fish or emerald crab.
His legs are a bright red color (not rich red, but bright and vibrant) and his face and claws seem to be reddish brown.
So far, I have not found anything online that positively ID’s him.

The closest I have found is:

Calcinus laurentae - Laurent's Hermit Crab, Family Diogenidae. Orange-yellow antennae. Claw-limbs brown, other legs pink with white junctions and black tips. Hawaiian endemic. Common. To about 1/5" carapace length.

Or

Dardanus megistos - Red Hermit Crab. The Hermit Crab, Assorted may grow to 3 inches. Omnivore. The Dardanus megistos is generally peaceful toward other tankmates. Not reef-safe. Many consider the Dardanus megistos a low-maintenance specimen. Not venomous. Will eat mollusks, tube worms, algae. Lives symbiotically with anemones. If you use them, place about one, two small Hermits per actual gallon of your system. Use a mix of species and make sure and provide many "upgrade" homes (empty shells) for your Hermits to move to. Keep water quality high (SG 1.023 - 1.025, pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temp. 72 - 78° F).

Other possibilities are:

http://www.saltcorner.com/sections/z.../Pcadenati.htm

http://www.saltcorner.com/sections/z...s/Cdigueti.htm

http://www.saltcorner.com/sections/z...forniensis.htm


I hope to have a few pics to post on here by the weekend so you all can check him out and figure out what kinda crab he is. I have a crappy one megapixel camera that I got for free a few years ago for signing up for my old internet service, so I’ll have to see how it does with taking pictures of the aquarium. It takes okay outdoor pictures when it is sunny, but indoor, it lacks in quality big time. If it doesn’t work, I have a friend who has a 5 megapixel, and I can borrow that over the weekend.

Thanks again for your help, and hopefully the pictures will be up soon!
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Old 06-10-2004, 02:30 AM   #9
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Another update.
I am 99% sure that I have a Laurent's Hermit Crab (Calcinus laurentae).
He has pink limbs with white junctions and black tips. He has yellowy antennae and brown claws.

Here's a link to a picture of one, and mine looks pretty much identical, except for being a younger smaller version.
http://www.mikesevernsdiving.com/images/10hermit.jpg

And here is a link to the page giving a short description.
http://www.mikesevernsdiving.com/marineEndemic.html

Sounds like they stay small, and could be very safe for my other creatures, as they are all bigger and faster than the crab.

What do you think?
Anyone else have one of these Laurent's Hermit Crabs?
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Old 06-10-2004, 11:41 AM   #10
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What do you think?
Without a clear pic of your's to compare I see no reason not to agree. If it is what you suggest then there should be no real issues with it being in the tank.

Cheers
Steve
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