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Old 04-03-2006, 07:31 AM   #1
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Red Claw crab - it's eating the fish!

Hello all

First post on this site - I've only been keeping fish for a few months now but it looks like this may be a very useful resource for me in the future.

Anyway, I've got a slight problem. Last night I added a small Red Claw Crab to me aquarium - I already had 2 small angels, 1 medium sized red Betta and 2 small blue guppy's in there, all living in perfect harmony together.

This morning, I walk downstairs, all the fish are there awaiting a feed.... apart from one of my angel fish. It appears that whilst the angels were peacefully sleeping, on a tall rock in the tank, the crab crept up and ate the larger one.

Now, I was told that generally the fish would be fine and that the crab would only eat bloodworm and leftover tank-scraps every few days.

Can anyone tell me, is this a common problem with red crab or have I just got a particularly agressive one? It's about 2.5cm wide (incl legs) so It's not particularly large.

I'm going to take him back, I'm just nervous about putting another crab or critter in there now.

Advice and stories appreciated here,

Gavin
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:20 AM   #2
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Red Claw crab - it's eating the fish!
Yes.. that's what they do

btw... WELCOME TO AA




what size tank are they in??? Generaly having crabs/crawfish and such is very risky becuase they will try to get to the fish.
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:27 AM   #3
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I'm sorry you didnt find this site first! I though about adding a red claw crab to one of my tanks, but through researching on here & other sites i realised it wasn't goin to work!

on another note, i'd also keep a close eye on the angels & betta's this can be a dodgy combination...

Welcome to the board
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:38 AM   #4
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Hello

Yes, shame I didn't find you guys earlier. Could have saved a small, but much treasured life. Thanks for the welcome too.

The tank's a 30 litre but there's a few bits to climb on and this little crab's clearly trained himself to the level of a 'Ninja'.

I'd heard that about Angels and the Betta too but have solved the issue.

They we're a little aggressive whe it was one of each. The Angel saw the Betta and, being another fish no doubt thought "cool, a fish!" and tried to school with it. The Betta, being a bit more solitary, thought "Stop following me dude!". Then they both got angry and they started nipping at each other.

Solution: Added another Angel. The Betta got on with his swimming alone thang and then the two angels hung out together peacefully.

All was harmony until 'the crab' arrived. He's being evicted later today !!
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:57 AM   #5
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haha glad you found a soloution, it might be nice if you have room to set up a tank just for the crab & maybe get a few more...
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:01 AM   #6
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Yeah, although right now he's just lucky that he's to small to become a crab cake!!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:07 AM   #7
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I once had a crawfish in a fw tank. The species I had were supposed to be "safe for fish". Well lets just say there were a few fish that mysteriously disappeared. So one night I turned the lights off, dressed in black, got a flashlight, compass and a map, it was a scene from Rambo minus the machine gun, I could not find one in time. I was off on a mission. To no suprise the crawfish was sitting on the bottom with his claws in the air waiting for the first victim to come too close. Then all of a sudden, snap and he got one. He did not last long in that tank for much longer.

Brian
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:12 AM   #8
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It's a conspiracy I tell you. It's just like that 'invasion' programme on the TV!

Pretty soon we'll all be sitting at home, serenely feeding our lovely big tanks full of little evil tempered crabs and shell dwelling fish munchers!

What next? It's US I tell you!!

(he watches me when I walk past, I know he's waiting for the day when I step too close)
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:47 PM   #9
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Red claw crabs are brackish water species and are commonly sold as freshwater. Freshwater isn't healthy for them and will shorten their lifespan. I suggest you return the crab or find a better home for it, but that's you're decision. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Also, isn't 30 litres something like 15 US gallons? If so, then make sure the angels get moved to a larger tank in the future.


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Old 04-03-2006, 11:50 PM   #10
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Wow. You have 2 Angels, 1 Betta, 2 Guppies and one crab in an 8 gallon tank?!? Thats crazy, and I'm sorry to say, but you'll definately have problems in the future if you don't upgrade. Angels need a 20 Gallon High atleast!
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:09 AM   #11
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Hello all

Yes, I'm learning fast! Sad to say that over the last few months I'm becoming aware that the guys at my local shops know or care very little about what they sell... in some cases I've been a little misinformed I think.

The crab's finding a new home this morning in a professional aquarium centre, there I'm sure he'll be much happier.

The angel will have to move on once she grows a little larger (very small at this stage). I was not aware that they grew quite as fast as I've now heard. I was thinking years, not months.

Still gives more arguement to my desire to set up a new and much larger (read: huge!) tank!

The interesting thing is that, bar the crab, the angels (only one left now though), the Betta and the Guppy's appear to have achieved perfect harmony and at times even school together.

It does prove that species that would not normally live together can integrate under certain conditions. Perhaps partially dependent on the order in which they inhabit the tank. more dominants in first allowing the establishment of territories. The secondary species moving in after to fill in the spaces and inhabit the smaller / hard to reach areas in the rocks and substrate.

I'll keep you posted.

What a wonderful and interesting hobby this is
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:42 PM   #12
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Welcome to AA. There is a thread around here you should look at, "The lies the LFS told me" and add this to the list. Animals with big claws bite.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:14 PM   #13
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So far I am having a very different experience than you. I too have a red clawed crab. He's in a community tank and I also was told at the LFS that he is 99% fish safe. I was also told to avoid keeping him with very slow fish. He's in with 4 gold skirt tetra's, 2 black widow tetra's, 4 bloodfin tetras, 2 cory's and a neon blue dward gourami. The crab has made himself a home down inside a hole that goes through a piece of driftwood. He only seems to come out at feeding time and when he does, he just comes out enough to grab some food and then it's right back in his hole... and when one of the fish swims by, he seems more scared of them than anything because that'll also cause him to go scurrying back into his hold.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:21 PM   #14
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How funny I wonder if it's a difference in sex or size then.

The little fella I had was about 2.5cm across (legs included). Was hugely active, not phased by the fish at all(evidently!). He actually took and part devoured an angel fish that was slightly larger than him.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:26 PM   #15
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I used to have a pair of crabs about that size... It's been a few years, so I don't remember what type of crabs they were. My fish didn't have any problems with the crabs (although it did seem like the crabs were bullies of a sort).

My main problem with my crabs was they were escape artists! They would try any and every way to get out of my tank. They succeeded a few times, and I and to carefully re-plan the setup of my tank, plants, etc.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:31 PM   #16
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Mine is about an inch across which I think is about the same size as yours in cm. I'm not sure what sex it is. The tank it was in at the LFS had about 100 of the little buggers in a 10 gal with shallow water, I bought one. The next day I went back because I wanted to get another and they were all gone! Must be popular with someone.
At the LFS, there definitely seemed to be some climbers in the bunch that were atop the plastic plants and there were also some that seemed more like hiders. I think the guy lifted up a rock and snaged mine from under there so I probably got one of the hiders.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:36 PM   #17
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Oh, I should also mention that in the same tank as my red claw I also have a cobalt blue lobster... he is more of a threat to the fish than anything but still seems to be pretty safe. He's about 4 inches from head to tail and keeps the bottom of my tank pretty spotless, picks through all the gravel with those snippers of his.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:28 PM   #18
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Many fish stores just want to make money and don't care about you as long as you buy from them. Alot also give out bad advice. For example, as a novice fishkeeper three years ago, I wanted an active fish for my new 55 gal. The employee showed me a blue channel catfish and told me it would do great in a 55. About two months after keeping him he grew extremely fast (from 4" to about 7"). I was amazed by this and looked up channel cats and soon found out how large and predatory they get. The I went back to the fish store and told the same person about this and he advised me to place it into a local pond because apparently they are native. So later, I scooped him into a bucket and walked down my road to a small local pond. Then I poured him into the water without even acclimating him.

Now after 5 years of fishkeeping I still ponder over all the stupid things I've done and why a LFS would give me such bad advice.

Now, I never trust any LFS and just research things on my own before I make a decision.

Good luck with finding the crab a new home. Hopefully the place you'll give them to knows about it's specific requirements and gives it a nice brackishwater setting.
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Old 04-05-2006, 04:55 AM   #19
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Fortunately there's a great aquatic centre (aquatic design centre on Great Portland Street) in Central London that specialises in large installations, exotic species, etc.

Not only do they know their stuff but they'll also advise on how to best stock, care for, etc. Refreshing to find someone who'd rather not sell fish untill you've brought in a water sample and told them what you have at home.

The crab will be happy there.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:35 AM   #20
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Yep. I lost a whole bunch of fish to a supposedly safe fw crab. Been there, done that! I actually saw the crab catch a fish one day. It would climb up on a decoration, then jump down on the fish as it swam by catching it in its legs. The claws were only used after it had dragged the fish into some secluded spot to finish it off. Not how I thought it would catch fish at all.
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