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Old 02-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #1
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Need help with purple vampire crab

Hi im new and have a few questions
Hello im new i have a Purple Vampire Crab. Im needing to know what kind of home do i need for my crab and what other stuff do i need. Aswell do they need to live in a desert home, rainforest home or Invertebrate home. Im thinking of getting one of the Exo Terra kit homes but not sure what one or what even to do. I dont know what other stuff i need for the crab to make it a proper home and a happy crab. I have the crab in a 5 gal (17" x 9') with pink gravel (all i had) on bottom and some substract on the top but not real deep. And a few plastic plants in it with a Beta log and a bowl thats about 3-4 inches round. But i feel the crab needs a better home then that. PLEASE HELP.. Thank you. I would be beyond greatfull to anyone for the help.<3

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Old 02-19-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Butterflychild View Post
Hi im new and have a few questions
Hello im new i have a Purple Vampire Crab. Im needing to know what kind of home do i need for my crab and what other stuff do i need. Aswell do they need to live in a desert home, rainforest home or Invertebrate home. Im thinking of getting one of the Exo Terra kit homes but not sure what one or what even to do. I dont know what other stuff i need for the crab to make it a proper home and a happy crab. I have the crab in a 5 gal (17" x 9') with pink gravel (all i had) on bottom and some substract on the top but not real deep. And a few plastic plants in it with a Beta log and a bowl thats about 3-4 inches round. But i feel the crab needs a better home then that. PLEASE HELP.. Thank you. I would be beyond greatfull to anyone for the help.<3

Hi and welcome!

First of all, realize these are terrestrial crabs and they don't belong in an aquarium. A land area is far more critical for them than a water area. You are correct in thinking they need a different set-up.

I want to tell you up front that you should be prepared for your crab to live only a short time. I hope you get lucky, but unfortunately, unless it is a tank bred crab from a breeder, it's likely to have issues, possibly with molting, that lead to it's death. The crabs we see in fish shops are imported and have been mishandled.

The best advice I can really give you is to read through this thread. It details the step-by-step of how I created this tank as well as some of the problems I've run into. Within this thread are a couple links to other vampire crab threads for you to check out as well. You can also visit brianstropicals.com and view his dart frog care page. These crabs require virtually the same care. Then let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to help if I can.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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Need help with purple vampire crab

Ok i was thinking of getting a 30-40 gal tank and putting 2 pieces of plexiglass and puting down the middle to make like a flowing river. I dont know how to tell what i have male or female and im scared to pick the crab up i dont want to hurt the tiny thing. And i want to get more but not sure how many i can get.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:07 AM   #4
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You can have a decent amount of adults in a 40g. Start up a thread and we can help you out .

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:02 PM   #5
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Oh ok ty
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:18 PM   #6
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Need help with purple vampire crab

Hello all i was wondering if i put a list of the items i am going to buy for my Purple Vampire Crab's tank would someone be able to tell me what items i need or not need. And how many PVC i can put into a 40 gal tank. Thank you.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:56 PM   #7
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Yes! I've really never seen any fighting between these vamps. It depends on the dimensions of that 40 gal, but I would imagine you could keep 12 w/o any problems.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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From what i was told the measurements are 37ish" X 15" X 18". What kind of lid do i need to use.? Glass, screen or other.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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Ok I think that's pretty much a 40 breeder. That'll give you plenty of space. Hopefully they will reproduce for you and won't have to actually pay for your entire stock.

Not a screen because you want it humid. A glass lid will work, or a plastic top w/o the holes punched out.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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Ok the stuff i am getting are. 40 gal tank. some kind of lid, tank stand, grapevine branches, feeding tongs, repti flo terraruim pump, repti clear terraruim filter f250, heat wave forest(under tank heater), digital thermometer, digital hygrometer, exo terra light cycle unit t8/t10 2x40w, fogger ultrasonic fog generator, waterfall, coco husk, turtle pebbles, exo terra plantation soil, styrofoam aquarium background, tree fern tropical background, monsoon Rs400 high- pressure rainfall system, real plants ( not sure what kind i can get). Moss (Java,Peat, Terraruim and Stagnum). Silicone, plexiglass, White Sand, screen for divider between rocks and sand, Repti calcuim and hubba hut (for hiding in). Not sure what else i need or dont need. Thank you.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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Oh not a screen lid. So glass lid or plexiglass lid and no holes in the lid dont you need some holes in the lid for air.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:47 PM   #12
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Small holes yes, but you do want it to stay humid.

Well that's going to be one elaborate set up! I can't WAIT to see it come together!

I don't see any need for the digital hydrometer.

You'll want a wingless fruit fly culture and calcium and vitamin powders to dust them with. I also feed gut loaded crickets. They would probably like live, but I can't have crickets chirping in the house, so that's out.

I've never used an under tank heater, but I would think it should work great.

I remember when I was building my palu looking at that plantation soil and ruling it out as unsafe for them. I think you would be better off going for an organic potting soil.

Are you going to use the Great Stuff foam method I used on mine?
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:38 AM   #13
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Wow, that's a lot of equipment! A bit overkill, but if you have the money, the go right ahead. Should be pretty neat. I would go with an infrared or ceramic heating bulb instead of a UTH. I will do a better job of warming up the air, and will be a lot cheaper. You can put a standard aquarium heater on the water side.

You can use a screen lid and cover most of it with saren wrap to keep in humidity, but glass tops are more convenient. There will be enough off a gap with the lids for air exchange. Also, eco-earth works as a good substrate, and will grow plants well. An earthy substrate with wood and dead leaves on top(like oak leaves) will be closer to their natural habitat than sand/rocks. They will also munch on the oak leaves(or so I hear).

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:25 AM   #14
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Ok no i really dont have tons of money these items are what other people told me i needed. Can you 2 tell me what exsacally i NEED to copy pvc natural habitat. I want there home to be purfect for them. And you think 12 crabs will be fine in a 40 gal. Would it be ok to get afew more crabs when tanks ready then get a few more a few months later as there $12.99 each here. I know thats not a bad price but i dont want to get to many and have them die on me.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:34 PM   #15
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Looking for help with purple vampire crab habitat

Hello all i have 1 Purple Vampire Crab with a minimal setup right now but am looking ot make a better home for it. I ws told that i need so much stuff i cant afford it all. Heres the list of what i was told i needed.
at least 40 gal tank, glass lid, tank stand, grapevine branches, feeding tool, terrarium pump, terraruim filter, heat wave forest, thermoneter, hygrometer, light cycle unit, fogger. waterfall, coco husk, pebbles, plantation soil, strofoam aquarium background, tree fern tropical background, monsoon RS400 high-pressure rainfall system, sand (white), calcuim, hut or coconut shell, real plants for land and water,Moss (java,peat, terrarium and stagnum, Silicone, plastic screen, infrared ot ceramic heating bulb, eco earth or organic potting soil and pea gravel.

Im so cunfussed i dont know what to do what i need to get and what i dont need t have. I want the crab to have a habitat thats the same as its natural home but im on a fixed budget as im on Disability.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #16
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Nope, not all of that is necessary according to everything I've found.

What I've read is 1 sq foot of space per 2 crabs, so a ten gallon set up right should hold easily 4 or 5 crabs. You can either use plexiglass to block off a water section, or you can slope the land area. Plexiglass seems to be favorite--that way they get to dig about in dry dirt rather than mud, since they like to burrow. That would require some silicone, but neither silicone nor plexiglass is expensive.

A lid of some type would be necessary--they climb. Glass would keep the humidity in better. That plus water would make getting a hygrometer unnecessary, it think--I haven't found anything that indicates they're that picky about humidity or foggers. A thermometer is good (and cheap *lol*) though they're apparently just fine in the 60's through the 80's.

Light cycle unit---er...if they mean a timer, you can usually find one fairly cheap.

Styrofoam background--not necessary. They look nice, but aren't required.

What I've found indicates dirt is preferable to sand, but the organic type potting soil (stuff without any chemicals is basically what they're saying) isn't particularly expensive.

Plants are good, but hardy plants can be found fairly inexpensively. Anubias and java fern are good, as is java moss. Driftwood would be great but is a little more pricey--maybe pick up pieces over time? Grapevine is not strictly necessary when deciding between woods, but it does look cool. A few small rocks would be appreciated as well (go to a garden center or rock store--they sell by the pound so a pound or so would be dirt cheap if you can find one that sells small amounts. I got 20 lbs of rock for less than 3 bucks).

An internal filter like this would make a good waterfall if you wanted it--again, not a necessity and nothing I've read even mentioned having them in the tanks with the crabs, but a filter would keep the water cleaner longer. Even a DIY sponge filter would work for the amount of water that really needs to be in there.

With a little work and some creativity, it shouldn't be that expensive to set up a tank for a few crabs. Here are a few websites I found. Check them out--they're not minimal set ups, but they're not overly complex either. Good luck.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #17
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OK thank you for the help but i have a few more questions. What should i use forthe bottom of my dry bed. ( fish gravel, Turtle pebbles, pea gravel or something else). Do you know what other kinds of plants i can use for the land part and what kind i can use in the water part.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #18
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The dry bed I would use soil, or there was something in one of those websites I listed that said it made a good substrate for the crabs because it wouldn't collapse on them like dirt tends to do. For the substrate at the bottom of the water area, dirt would work, or sand or gravel. Personally, I would go with play sand--if well rinsed, less chance of a mess than dirt and I prefer the look to gravel.

For plants, do some research into terrarium plants and immersed plants. A lot of plants they sell at the petstores are immersed plants that won't grow submerged, so you may get lucky at your local pet store--find out what they have and do some research *lol*. Mondo grass is a good one for a ground cover in an area that gets a lot of water but where it won't be completely submerged. Dracaena is another you'll find (at least around here) that's not a plant that can grow submerged for long but can be immersed. Lucky bamboo looks great. For fully submerged, java fern and anubias are very pretty and easy to care for, along with not usually messed with by critters.

Here, here, and here are a few options for the land part. I can say from personal experience the golden pothos is a pretty vine that can be found in a lot of garden shops--I have a pot hanging above my tanks and a vine growing out of each of my tanks.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:25 PM   #19
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Ok ty. but what i was thinking is gravel on bottom then a layer of sand then soil on top. Or gravel a piece of plastic screen then gravel and dirt. the screen to keep the sand and soil from settleing to the bottom. Or the sand to do the same thing. Do you know if you can use any house plants in the tank. Thank you so much for the plant sites you sent me. I think i have everything else figured out but not 100% sure. I cant do my setup yet as i havent gotten anything im on fixed income and have to get a bit at a time but i have order the 40gal tank which will cost me enough to start with lol. then i have to figure out what pieces i need to get in the proper order as i need to set up my tank. ty
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:30 PM   #20
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The substrate in my land portion is made up of equal parts orchid bark, sphagnum moss, coco-fiber, and calci-sand. In the water portion I used natural looking gravel, but really anything you like should work.
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