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Old 01-09-2004, 09:20 AM   #1
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To buy crabs or crayfish or not?

I saw what I think was hermit crabs at a LFS and was considering buying one. Any thoughts or cautions about getting some kind of invertebrate for my tank. And if a good idea what would you folks recommend.

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2 Blue Tetras, 2 Angelfish, 2 clown loaches,
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2 Otocinclus, 1 Glass cat fish

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Old 01-09-2004, 09:25 AM   #2
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They might have been fiddler crabs, since hermits live in shells on dry land, and would not be kept in an aquarium.

There are many folks who keep crabs and I am sure will have some good advice. All I know is that crabs require some way to get out of the water from time to time. Crayfish are carnivorous and will try to eat your fish, so unless you have a different tank in mind, I would personall avoid them (yes, I have been burned!).
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Old 01-09-2004, 09:33 AM   #3
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Thanks TankGirl. Do you know if crabs are beneficial for your tank ie. bottom feeders, cleaning gravel? And do you know what you would have to feed them?
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20 Gallon Rectangle tank, 304 Fluval filter:
1Rosy Tetra, 1 Black Molly
1 Platy, 1 Blue Tail Guppy
2 Blue Tetras, 2 Angelfish, 2 clown loaches,
1 Tail-Light Tetra,
2 Otocinclus, 1 Glass cat fish

15 Gallon -1 Fancy Guppies - 15 Guppy Fry
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Old 01-09-2004, 09:39 AM   #4
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Beware of crayfish. My best friend bought one of the "electric blue lobsters" which are a weird color variant but still crayfish and the thing was worse than her fw puffer for fin pinching. When it got bigger it started demolishing her tetra school so now the thing (not cheep) lives in a tank all to itself.
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Old 01-09-2004, 09:45 AM   #5
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Ooops! Double post.
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Old 01-09-2004, 09:56 AM   #6
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Thanks Jen
Ok Crayfish are out . Crabs may be my only option.
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20 Gallon Rectangle tank, 304 Fluval filter:
1Rosy Tetra, 1 Black Molly
1 Platy, 1 Blue Tail Guppy
2 Blue Tetras, 2 Angelfish, 2 clown loaches,
1 Tail-Light Tetra,
2 Otocinclus, 1 Glass cat fish

15 Gallon -1 Fancy Guppies - 15 Guppy Fry
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:30 AM   #7
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I was at the LFS recently, and there were people looking at crabs. The employee there said that basically whatever could possibly get caught in its claws - probably will sooner or later. I don't know about that though, I'm sure there are people out there who've had a crab peacefully cohabit with fish...
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:38 AM   #8
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Crabs are the Houdini of FW. One day they are in your tank, the next day they are downstairs in the computer room behind the entertainment center. True story from yours truly. Not only got out, went down stairs, down the hall, into the computer room and behind the entertainment center, where I caught him and returned him. He escaped 3 more times, and the third time killed him. He must have gotten out where my Emporer 400 dumps back into my tank, because it was the only opening.
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:47 AM   #9
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Tricky devils ...you would think that might turn me off of crabs and yet the challenge interests me to buy some. Bearfan did you enjoy the crab when you had them, or are they kind of boring? And what did you feed yours? Also did you have a spot for them to climb out of the water? Sorry for all the questions.
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20 Gallon Rectangle tank, 304 Fluval filter:
1Rosy Tetra, 1 Black Molly
1 Platy, 1 Blue Tail Guppy
2 Blue Tetras, 2 Angelfish, 2 clown loaches,
1 Tail-Light Tetra,
2 Otocinclus, 1 Glass cat fish

15 Gallon -1 Fancy Guppies - 15 Guppy Fry
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:05 AM   #10
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I know you ruled out crayfish, but one more word on them. they also escape readily, and they ar omnivorous, it other words they will destroy your plants, along with possibly eating fish.
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:09 AM   #11
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They'd pretty much eat anything, although they seemed to really like sinking shrimp pellets. The only opening was very thin, just big enough to accomodate the Emporer 400 filter.
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:43 AM   #12
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I have a blue crawfish; I have no problems and I really like having it. He's fun to watch. Really the key here is to put them in an environment where they can't get into much problems. Research their needs first. Figure out which fish will and wo'nt get along with the crawfish before you consider adding something.

I have a 20 gallon long tank with the blue crawfish, tigar barbs, a buenes aires tetra, a snail, and zebra danios(short fin). There are lots of fake plants because as it's been said before keeping a living plant would be impossible. He has never gotten out and only sometimes nips the fins of silly fish that swim into his claws. I've noticed as they get older they get over this daring game.
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Old 01-09-2004, 01:03 PM   #13
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I have a planted tank so crayfish are out is guess. Thanks
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20 Gallon Rectangle tank, 304 Fluval filter:
1Rosy Tetra, 1 Black Molly
1 Platy, 1 Blue Tail Guppy
2 Blue Tetras, 2 Angelfish, 2 clown loaches,
1 Tail-Light Tetra,
2 Otocinclus, 1 Glass cat fish

15 Gallon -1 Fancy Guppies - 15 Guppy Fry
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:52 PM   #14
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I had a Fiddler Crab once with some goldfish and it ate my goldfish. I watched it catch and eat one one day. I have bad feelings toward them now because of this.
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Old 01-14-2004, 04:02 PM   #15
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Every time people talk about crabs, they say how quick they are to escape. I have had fiddler crabs in my open-top tank for 6 months now, and I haven't even seen an escape attempt. If your crabs are trying to get out, it's because you aren't providing them with sufficient area above the surface of the water where they can feel comfortable.

As long as you're willing to go through the work to set up a tank that your crabs will enjoy, I'd definitely recommend getting some- They're great at cleaning detritus out of hard to reach places, and are fun to watch.

-J
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:41 PM   #16
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jratuszn what type of area do you have for the crabs above water?
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20 Gallon Rectangle tank, 304 Fluval filter:
1Rosy Tetra, 1 Black Molly
1 Platy, 1 Blue Tail Guppy
2 Blue Tetras, 2 Angelfish, 2 clown loaches,
1 Tail-Light Tetra,
2 Otocinclus, 1 Glass cat fish

15 Gallon -1 Fancy Guppies - 15 Guppy Fry
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:01 PM   #17
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Crayfish

I hate to be the one going against the more experienced fishkeepers, but my crayfish hasn't done much damage to my fish yet, and I've had him in my 55g for several months. He lives peacefully with 3 cichlids, and oscar, and some sharks. I think that as long as you give him a good hiding place (i usually make little caves with rocks for him), he won't bug other fish.

The only fish I ever saw my crayfish kill was a small pleco (about 1.5"), and that was because the pleco was sick to begin with. I think that a pack of crayfish will attack healthy fish and bring them down, but one crayfish by himself wouldn't have the balls to bring down a fish that could defend himself.

That's just my experience, and I honestly wouldn't consider myself an experienced fishkeeper, so I don't know how much weight you want to put on my opinion.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:30 AM   #18
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I agree with what some people have been saying. Cray fish can be kept with certain fish. The friend of mine with the blue crayfish now has it with some bigger Malawi cichlids and it keeps to itself and doesn't bother them. I think from what my new lfs says (they have been gr8 with advice) that if you put a crayfish with faster agressive fish then the fish should be fine but I would avoid putting it with anything that is too slow or timid.

As for the crabs we got to play find the crab in my dorm several nights ago. My friends crab managed to get out of an eclipse 12 gal, off her desk, across the carpet, out the door and into the computer lab nearly 50 feet from her room. We found the little bugger sitting on top of a laser printer looking incredibly cheeky. They have definetly got personality. The girl now keeps her chem book on top of the lid and hasn't had any more problems.
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Old 01-15-2004, 11:00 AM   #19
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about crabs i have 4 in a tank by them selves. great pet to have and are awsome to watch. if you have more then one or two for a while i highly recomend putting a small chunk of shrimp into the tank and just watch. i do it like once a month and as soon as one of the little guys finds it, the tank turns into a big funny game of tag. they will chase each other around trying to get it but after they don't eat it they just wave it around taunting the others till they chase them. just have to have alot of dry land for them and preferably sand. they will make all kinds of tunnels in it like little ants.

about crawfish... i ahve a blue one that i origoanlly i thought was going through and cleaning the gravel out alot but later i found out what he was actually doing. he was goign into each of the corners of my tank where i planted fomr bulbs from walmart that were supposed to grow within a week and never grew and un burreying them and eating them. i have a piece of fake wood in the tank with a big whole at the top that he has taken as his home. he has only cought and killed one fish and the fish (i have made myself beileve) was sick. he also is great to watch is you put in a raw peice of fish or chunk of shrimp. few minutes after it is in the tank he is climbing out of his whole and snapping at any fish going neer his dinner and then drags it into his whole again not to be seen for a day or so.

as a whole from my expierience as long as you ahve places for your fish to hide and the crawfish to hide you should be fine he can only pick off the injured or sick fish anyway and really helps cleanign them up before they get the rest sick... and crabs if you ahve enough land they are very ammusing.
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1 30 gal fiddler crab tank... 4 fiddler crabs and sand and plants
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Old 01-15-2004, 01:13 PM   #20
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Crabs are definitely entertaining in an aquarium. They are surprisingly active, always getting into or on everything in the tank. However, I'm willing to bet they will escape at some point...look at some other posts regarding these guys and you will have many different cases where they somehow escaped and people just can't explain how they did it.
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